Main definitions of peep in English

: peep1peep2

peep1

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 Look quickly and furtively at something, especially through a narrow opening:

    ‘his door was ajar and she couldn't resist peeping in’
    • ‘We peeped through the window of an old-fashioned apothecary.’
    • ‘Trembling, she peeped through her laced fingers at her stereo.’
    • ‘He walked across to the next room, delicately opened the door and peeped through.’
    • ‘‘Don't worry, we'll think of something’ George said vaguely as he peeped through the curtains.’
    • ‘There was a knock at the door so I got up and trudged to the door bitterly and peeped through the small windows.’
    • ‘A head peeped through the small gap and greeted Julia with a booming voice.’
    • ‘He walked slowly toward the door, peeped through an enlarged crack in the hinge side, and stepped back, startled.’
    • ‘I too peeped through out of curiosity and found a young house wife crying in front of a policeman.’
    • ‘I slipped into the house and into my room so as not to spoil their party, though I couldn't resist peeping through the blinds.’
    • ‘I peeped through the slits at the top of the door.’
    • ‘Scarlet ran over to inspect as did Griffith and they peeped through to see Lane on the phone with someone.’
    • ‘Teenage girls were spotted around the village peeping through windows of some of the biggest homes, desperately hoping for a glance of Gareth.’
    • ‘William peeped through the curtained window into the dimly lit smoked filled room.’
    • ‘She locked the bullet into the barrel, peeped through the scope, aimed, and instantaneously pulled the trigger, expelling the bullet into the air.’
    • ‘I drew back, and with Zev crouching behind me, peeped through the hole I had made.’
    • ‘Despite his obvious contempt for anything celestial, I continued to peep discreetly into the astrology columns of newspapers and magazines.’
    • ‘She peeped through the holes in the rock at the hundreds of wolves sitting and slouching or lying against the trees, looking at the rocks.’
    • ‘I licked my lips and peeped through the hole, I couldn't help but giggle.’
    • ‘She peeped through the curtains at the two sleeping boys and ended up staring at them for a couple of minutes.’
    • ‘Arin peeped through his fingers and then stood up with his jaw almost scraping his knees.’
    look quickly, cast a brief look, take a secret look, spy, take a sly look, take a stealthy look, sneak a look, peek, have a peek, glance, peer
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1peep out Come gradually or partially into view:
      ‘the sun began to peep out’
      • ‘And if at all the sun occasionally peeps out of the clouds, there will be large screens to provide shade to the plants.’
      • ‘The sun peeped out from the clouds and sparkled on the water.’
      • ‘His eyes traced over me, taking in my disheveled hair and my toes, which were peeping out from underneath my dress.’
      • ‘Grey pearl cuff links peeped out from beneath his jacket sleeves.’
      • ‘Anyway, on this occasion a different leaflet was peeping out of the box.’
      • ‘Spring in Connecticut brings rain and daffodils and tulips begin to peep out from piles of dirty snow.’
      • ‘We first noticed a beak peeping out from behind one of the beams and before we knew it the bird had tried to fly from the nest.’
      • ‘I regarded my toes as they peeped out of the water while I floated on my back.’
      • ‘She saw the feeble rays of the sun barely peeping out into the sky.’
      • ‘Caroline could see that her toes peeped out from under the hem of her everyday gown.’
      appear, appear partly, appear slowly, show, come into sight, come into view, make an appearance, put in an appearance, present itself, present oneself, become visible, emerge, issue, peek, peer out, surface, loom, show its face, show one's face, come to light, spring up, pop up
      View synonyms

noun

  • 1[usually in singular] A quick or furtive look:

    ‘Jonathan took a little peep at his watch’
    • ‘The bigger kids said it was haunted so it was obviously too much of a temptation for any 10 year old not to take a quick peep through the window.’
    • ‘She actually couldn't pass the door without a quick peep inside.’
    • ‘As he ripped at his shirt, he risked one quick peep through the car windows.’
    • ‘New chaps would have a quick peep over the top, just for a moment - but only if they didn't know anything.’
    • ‘It offers a peep at the richness of the traditional gold jewellery of the State, which is also noted for its purity, creativity and craftsmanship.’
    • ‘A look at these beautiful products gives one an impressive peep into the artistic abilities of the strife-torn region.’
    • ‘A quick peep at my watch told me that the time was 6.30 a.m. and across in the other bed, just visible through the mosquito nets, J.R. was still sleeping soundly.’
    • ‘A glimpse of the rural lifestyle and a peep into the culture of various ethnic groups.’
    • ‘At midnight, street people drift to a Chinese temple seeking a peep into the future.’
    quick look, brief look, sly look, stealthy look, sneaky look, peek, glance, glimpse, look, peer
    keek
    gander, look-see, squint, eyeful
    dekko, butcher's, shufti
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A momentary or partial view of something:
      ‘black curls and a peep of gold earring’

Origin

Late 15th century: symbolic; compare with peek.

Pronunciation:

peep

/piːp/

Main definitions of peep in English

: peep1peep2

peep2

noun

  • 1A feeble, high-pitched sound made by a young bird or mammal.

    • ‘It starts off with three or four high-pitched peeps in rather quick succession; then the bird launches into a raspy, guttural shriek; and then the bird whistles a few warbling notes as a coda.’
    • ‘I heard small chirps and peeps almost as soon as I stepped to the marsh's edge, but it required my vigilance to finally see what I'd been hearing - a Downy Woodpecker.’
    • ‘The call of glass frogs is a high peep (rather like that of fine crystal) or whistle.’
    • ‘He listened to the raucous calls of the bigger birds, the peeps and chucks of the smaller birds.’
    • ‘The parakeet flew up and landed on her shoulder with another peep, his little sounds were words that Nichol alone understood.’
    • ‘First, it announces its presence at the far side of the pool with its distinctive, high-pitched ‘chirp’ call, which is more like a squawk than a peep.’
    • ‘He let me know I'd woken him up with a little chirp, then once I'd settled down, he emitted another kitty peep.’
    • ‘New moms and dads everywhere respond to shrill baby peeps with excited nods and bows, carefully clearing away eggshell shards from around fragile hatchlings tucked between their feet.’
    • ‘The little animal glanced back up at her but soon returned to its apple with a flippant peep.’
    cheep, chirp, chirrup, tweet, twitter, chirr, pipe, piping, warble, squeak, chatter
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with negative] A slight sound, utterance, or complaint:
      ‘not a peep out of them since shortly after eight’
      • ‘This was accepted with hardly a peep of protest from both the British and the American public.’
      • ‘Especially since we never hear a peep of complaint about the millions of dollars of research funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.’
      • ‘But he offered not a peep of protest or criticism.’
      • ‘Look I can't promise not to say another peep about that boy you were with.’
      • ‘It was amazing, because there was not one peep from our closest geographical member of Parliament from the National Party.’
      • ‘When Hilmer hobbled the paper's budget, not a peep of protest from you.’
      • ‘On the one hand, we are led to believe that the girl is utterly self-reliant and unafraid; on the other, she slips into prostitution without a peep of protest.’
      • ‘Vast swathes of ideological ground have been abandoned without a peep of protest from the grassroots nor a hint of rebellion or division.’
      • ‘I really just didn't want to hear another peep coming out of her mouth.’
      • ‘The press politely looked the other way, never uttering a peep.’
      • ‘But they are doing this without a peep of protest from the fired-up grassroots activists who have taken over the Kansas Republican Party.’
      • ‘The little girl was happily babbling and taking in her new surroundings with awe and she hadn't made a single fussy peep.’
      • ‘We didn't hear another peep from them all week.’
      • ‘But even more than this: not one peep of what I have told you about the sinister intentions of the church state would ever have been made public.’
      • ‘And, I don't want to hear one peep from you about it either.’
      • ‘I tried ignoring the painful feeling and concentrated on not making a peep of sound.’
      sound, noise, cry, utterance, word
      complaint, grumble, moan, mutter, murmur, grouse, objection, protest, protestation, outcry, demur, argument, remonstrance, remonstration, exception, grievance, cavil, quibble, word, sound
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A brief, high-pitched electronic sound:
      ‘the phone gives three sharp peeps’
      • ‘The electronic peep of the alarm pierces my wandering dreams like a knife.’
  • 2North American informal A small sandpiper or similar wading bird:

    ‘the peeps have returned to Fundy’
    • ‘Its yellow legs distinguish it from the other two Washington peeps, Western and Semipalmated Sandpipers, which have black legs.’
    • ‘In the natural world, peeps are sandpipers, pure and simple.’
    • ‘For the peeps and plovers dancing in the surf, we had no time at all.’
    • ‘There were peeps, probably some types of stints, larger redshank sized birds and some Tringa species.’
    • ‘The Semipalmated Sandpiper is a small shorebird in the group known as peeps or stints.’
  • 3rare A group of chickens:

    ‘a peep of chickens pecking and scratching around the gate’
    • ‘Tobias the cat lived in harmony with Daisy the Border collie, Timmy the mouse, and a peep of chickens.’
    • ‘Clients of St Benedict's Day Centre are sharing the joys of raising a peep of chickens and will enter them in this year's show.’
    • ‘A peep of chickens, recently evicted from their nests along Highway 99 by road construction, has taken residence in parking lot shrubbery.’
    • ‘The family's commitment to the environment means they have an organic vegetable garden along with a peep of chickens.’
    • ‘Chicken owner Sam keeps a small peep of chickens in her garden near a golf course.’

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Make a brief, high-pitched sound:

    ‘Don peeped on his whistle’
    • ‘It was hard work but I had a lot of public support with drivers peeping and the support from the firefighters has been fantastic.’
    • ‘The builder's lorry pulled up outside and peeped to attract my attention.’
    • ‘Outside their window, an insect's timid squeak peeped sporadically into the night, like a half-rusty hinge.’
    • ‘When you leap up every time he or she peeps, you're disturbing his or her sleep, the sleep folks say.’
    • ‘All the same, I can't help thinking that if only I could force myself to peep, burble and mangle my words like a child, I'd soon be able to communicate with the peoples of the world, or at least their kids.’
    cheep, chirp, chirrup, tweet, twitter, chirr, squeak
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: imitative; compare with cheep.

Pronunciation:

peep

/piːp/