Main definitions of pet in English

: pet1pet2PET3

pet1

noun

  • 1A domestic or tamed animal kept for companionship or pleasure.

    ‘the pony was a family pet’
    as modifier ‘a pet cat’
    • ‘Gamekeepers set illegal snares that injure and kill other animals, including foxes, rabbits, and birds of prey - even domestic pets.’
    • ‘For personnel of the Emergency Rescue Team of the Fire Services and Rescue Department, rescuing pets and domesticated animals is nothing new.’
    • ‘And, again, no one should buy birds as a pet unless they're bred domestically.’
    • ‘In her words, ‘anyone who has owned and loved a pet would agree that in terms of emotional trauma, watching the death of a pet is akin to losing a close relative.’’
    • ‘Keep your birds separate from wild birds, waterfowl, pets and other animals.’
    • ‘There is also a large aquarium trade, supplying animals both as pets and as food for fish and amphibians.’
    • ‘Domestic pets are the source of most non-insect animal bites.’
    • ‘Veterinarian Astrid Behr also recommends a bird as a pet rather than a guinea pig or other smaller animal.’
    • ‘I'm not sure if people look like their pets, but you can tell a lot about a person by what they look for in a pet.’
    • ‘Most pets and domesticated animals receive vaccinations against rabies.’
    • ‘As the city grows, and cats become more popular as domestic pets, the number of animals living rough increases.’
    • ‘Today, over a million pets and farm animals worldwide have RFID tags in or on them, so Rover or Daisy can easily be tracked if they wander off.’
    • ‘Alternatively, other owners are reluctant to have a pet put to sleep either for religious reasons, or perhaps because that animal is the last link they have with their deceased spouse.’
    • ‘Domestic cats are highly valued as pets and as working animals throughout the world.’
    • ‘Now, the centre is home to a whole range of animals, including domestic pets like cats and dogs.’
    • ‘In our own survey of pet owners nearly three quarters felt that some sort of bereavement support was useful when a pet dies and nearly half said they would be prepared to pay for it.’
    • ‘Both domestic animals and pets have important roles in our lives.’
    • ‘Be aware that injured animals, even tame pets will bite savagely if given a chance.’
    • ‘Cats, fish, and sometimes singing birds are reared as pets by Malay families.’
    • ‘His pet or ‘companion animal’ has been an essential part of his life.’
    1. 1.1 A person treated with special favour or affection.
      ‘she is the pet of the family’
      as modifier ‘I found the chairs at my pet antiques dealer in Cannes’
      • ‘[She was] not exactly the teachers' pet, but she did respect the teachers.’
      • ‘Masson may have called MacKinnon ‘Kitty,’ but it is clear who was the pet in that relationship.’
      favourite, darling, the apple of one's eye, idol
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2as modifier Treated with special attention or evoking particularly strong feelings.
      ‘another of her pet projects was the arts centre’
      ‘my pet hate is woodwork’
      • ‘In politics, Mr Berlusconi's pet hate is communism - he never tires of reminding moderate leftists of their Marxist past.’
      • ‘Nobody wants to see valuable funds wasted on pet projects.’
      • ‘She spends her spare time dreaming up anti - hobbies: politically correct organisations and human rights to store in her hutch of pet hates.’
      • ‘Even then they still spoke every week, usually about their shared passion - computers - or Mark's pet hate, and Chris's new love - jazz.’
      • ‘Politicians and businessmen have traditionally used Taiwan banks as cheap funding sources for pet projects.’
      • ‘The Americans struggle with senators who add one costly pet project after another to every bill.’
      • ‘The USD students meet for games nights, for socials, and to help out with each other's pet projects.’
      • ‘It was made perfectly clear that money will not be tipped onto a table for the town to spend willy-nilly on pet projects.’
      • ‘Individuals, not a political party, will be called to account by the courts for misdeeds committed under the auspices of his wayward pet project.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, state-owned banks freely dished out cash to politicians' pet projects.’
      • ‘I do plead guilty to having literacy and numeracy as pet projects.’
      • ‘Another of Dr Evelyn's pet hates was the proliferation of advertising posters.’
      • ‘Hoop Dreams was just this little pet project, although it mushroomed as time went on.’
      • ‘He also emerged as a stern critic of Mr McCreevy's Special Savings Investment Scheme pet project.’
      • ‘Are these the same IT managers who waste significant resources on useless pet projects, then whine that their budget is not big enough?’
      • ‘Ignorance is up there with dishonesty on his list of pet hates, and with good reason.’
      • ‘Its widespread attraction contrasts sharply with those pet projects of the London-based chattering classes which have previously won Lottery millions.’
      • ‘And some Republicans are pushing pet projects of their own, from dams to gas pipelines.’
      • ‘The challenger belongs to Tory MP Richard Bacon, whose ‘about me’ section lists snobbery and racism as pet hates.’
      • ‘Another pet hate for consumers [is] the levels of fees paid to superannuation funds and investment managers.’
    3. 1.3British Used as an affectionate form of address.
      ‘don't cry, pet, it's all right’
      • ‘I'd like you to choose a card, my pet, and then read out what it says and tell the studio audience and our viewers at home what act you'll be performing for us this evening in our star turn final.’
      • ‘‘Welcome to St. Vincent, pet,’ Nick side, stretching out and arm to the scene below.’
      • ‘‘Best not to anger the boss, pet,’ he said, then reached down to give her a light kiss before rising to his feet.’
      • ‘And when you have something to say that comes anywhere near an opinion, keep it to yourself, pet!’
      • ‘Ask them to help you cross the road, or to take you down to the post office, or to put the kettle on, pet.’

verb

[with object]
  • 1Stroke or pat (an animal) affectionately.

    ‘the cats came to be petted’
    • ‘There is a dog who barks unless she is petted continuously, so people take turns petting her.’
    • ‘She pet her cat affectionately and turned on the TV while she waited for Brett to come home from work.’
    • ‘We stayed there for about 20 minutes, talking to him and petting him, scratching him behind his ears and neck.’
    • ‘And if you don't believe it's therapeutic to pet a dog, then you haven't given it a good try.’
    • ‘I don't pet her too much, as I've already worked out that there's only so much petting a pet can handle before it runs off again.’
    • ‘I picked him up, placed him on my lap and wrapped the towel around him, murmuring sweet things to him, petting him.’
    • ‘He's not the kind of dog that will let you pet him, but with the people he knows and trusts, he's clingy.’
    • ‘Clouseau bends down to pet the dog and it growls and bites him.’
    • ‘Do not look at, talk to, pet, feed, play or let out your dog or cat when it is in the act of misbehaving.’
    • ‘Joann tried to keep herself from laughing when she noticed the raven's look, meanwhile continuing to pet the mare, stroking the animal's chestnut hip.’
    • ‘I got up and went to pet her but she was having none of it, pulled back, turned, and darted back into the airing cupboard again.’
    • ‘The Prince started to pet his horse, stroking the hair gently with almost some humanity.’
    • ‘Heather was sitting on the floor across from Dan petting the family's old blood hound.’
    • ‘She loves attention, and loves to lick your hand when you pet her.’
    • ‘Valia shook her head in confusion and started to pet her canine companion.’
    • ‘Placed on the aluminium table, the kitten is petted, briefly, to reduce the shivering, and then, with four tiny ‘miuw!’’
    • ‘She smiled softly, petting her cat Sea Monkey gently.’
    • ‘And there was a beautiful doe that put her head through the wire fence so I could pet her, never mind that she didn't like the grass I had picked for her.’
    • ‘The kitten looks glad at the attention, but seems more interested at Mierre than at the hand petting her.’
    • ‘A little dog tied up outside of Chin's is lonely, but people stop now and then to pet him and tell him how cute he is.’
    stroke, caress, fondle, pat
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Treat (someone) with affection or favouritism; pamper.
      ‘I was cosseted and petted and never shouted at’
      • ‘She said that at the end of the school day Jack makes his way to the playground where he is petted and spoilt by the children.’
      • ‘Cael was silent a moment, just petting Sam, before he slowly shifted to sit on the edge of the bed.’
      • ‘She had been petting Roy who was sleeping next to her, but when Tony sat down he took her hand in hers.’
      • ‘Ian's eyes opened lethargically, Susan said nothing and Geneva did not cease gawking at him, Calypso jumped from her arms after Geneva stopped petting her.’
      • ‘He takes a look towards his mother, who is fuming, but petting Jeremy on the head.’
      pamper, spoil, mollycoddle, coddle, cosset, baby, indulge, overindulge, dote on, wrap in cotton wool, feather-bed, overparent
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2no object Engage in sexually stimulating caressing and touching.
      ‘couples necking and petting in cars’
      • ‘They reported a significant increase in sexual activity, such as kissing and petting, among male participants when compared with the control group.’
      • ‘From kissing in the back stalls of the local picture theatre, they graduated to petting on the front seats of parked cars.’
      • ‘It all depends on what the intentions are and if there are also other things going on like: kissing, petting, romantic conversation, or commitments involved.’
      kiss and cuddle, kiss, cuddle, embrace, caress
      View synonyms

Origin

Early 16th century (as a noun; originally Scots and northern English): of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

pet

/pɛt/

Main definitions of pet in English

: pet1pet2PET3

pet2

noun

  • A fit of sulking or ill humour.

    ‘Mother's in a pet’
    • ‘Women get all in a pet that Sorenstam doesn't receive the adulation Tiger Woods does.’
    bad mood, mood, bad temper, temper, sulk, fit of the sulks, ill temper, ill humour, fit of pique, huff, tantrum
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 16th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

pet

/pɛt/

Main definitions of pet in English

: pet1pet2PET3

PET3

  • 1Polyethylene terephthalate.

  • 2Positron emission tomography, a form of tomography used especially for brain scans.

Pronunciation

PET

/piːiːˈtiː/