Try Our Apps


Pore Over vs. Pour Over


[purk] /pɜrk/
verb (used without object)
to become lively, cheerful, or vigorous, as after depression or sickness (usually followed by up):
The patients all perked up when we played the piano for them.
to act, or carry oneself, in a jaunty manner.
to put oneself forward briskly or presumptuously.
verb (used with object)
to make smart, trim, or jaunty (sometimes followed by up or out):
to perk up a suit with a new white blouse.
to raise smartly or briskly (often followed by up or out):
to perk one's head up.
perky; jaunty:
a perk manner.
Origin of perk1
1350-1400; Middle English perken; perhaps akin to peer2
Related forms
perkingly, adverb
perkish, adjective


[purk] /pɜrk/
verb (used without object), verb (used with object), Informal.
to percolate:
Has the coffee perked yet? The research team is perking with new ideas.
1930-35, Americanism; by shortening and respelling of percolate Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for perking
Historical Examples
  • So he had, like a very unwise rabbit, and was perking up his long ears within quite easy range of Charley's gun as he levelled it.

  • Then she strolled over toward the Man, lifting her feet in her most aristocratic way and perking her head prettily.

    Tales of a Poultry Farm Clara Dillingham Pierson
  • He was perking up his big ears and wagging his stump of a tail in front of him.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • He set coffee to perking, laid strips of bacon in a skillet and arranged half a dozen eggs nearby.

    Double Challenge James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • The seat next them was unoccupied, and Mallory dropped into it, perking his ears backward for news.

    Excuse Me! Rupert Hughes
  • "Well, I for one don't like her a bit," declared Tilly, perking up the bow ends of the black sling that hung about her neck.

    The Sunbridge Girls at Six Star Ranch Eleanor H. (Eleanor Hodgman) Porter
  • And yet these perking courtiers are a long time seeing that.

    The Hero of the People Alexandre Dumas
  • It's simply ridiculous to have Margaret perking herself up for beaux.

    A Little Girl in Old New York Amanda Millie Douglas
  • She'll be sure to be peeking an' perking inter every thing the moment my back's turned.

    The World Before Them Susanna Moodie
  • "You hear it from the police, gentlemen," added Mr. Meredith, perking up a little.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
British Dictionary definitions for perking


pert; brisk; lively
See perk up
Word Origin
C16: see perk up


verb (informal)
(intransitive) (of coffee) to percolate
(transitive) to percolate (coffee)


(Brit, informal) short for perquisite
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for perking



late 14c., "to make oneself trim or smart," perhaps from Old North French perquer "to perch" (Modern French percher; see perch (n.1)), on notion of a bird preening its plumage. Sense of "raise oneself briskly" is first attested 1520s; perk up "recover liveliness" is from 1650s. Related: Perked; perking.


1869, shortened and altered form of perquisite (q.v.); as a verb, 1934 as shortened and altered form of percolate.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for perking

perk 1


Percolated coffee (1950s+)


To run smoothly and well; percolate: The project's perking now (1925+)

perk 2


Extra money, privileges, fringe benefits, etc, pertaining to a job or assignment: His men were delighted to be in Afghanistan, he said, mostly because of the perks

[1824+; fr perquisite]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Related Abbreviations for perking


The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for perk

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for perking

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for perking