Main definitions of peer in English

: peer1peer2

peer1

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 Look with difficulty or concentration at someone or something:

    ‘Faye peered at her with suspicion’
    • ‘I frown and hunch over the wheel, peering forward, concentrating furiously and determined not to make another mistake.’
    • ‘Suddenly he stopped and squinted, peering into the distance.’
    • ‘Heaving herself up with some difficulty, she peered over the edge and let out a sigh of relief.’
    • ‘He squinted, peering at it and trying to make out the figures.’
    • ‘He rubbed warmth into his arms, peering through the fog to see if he could spot the stranger.’
    • ‘I peered into the fog, thinking for a second I'd seen something, but nothing appeared to be there.’
    • ‘Sadie spat with contempt, whilst peering down at the half-filled bowl of dry cereal.’
    • ‘Cate stared silently ahead, peering into the grove of trees.’
    • ‘She regarded him carefully, peering at him from under her hooded cloak.’
    • ‘Selina squinted her eyes before peering upward into the sun.’
    • ‘She stood very still, as if a statue, her hands running over the smooth wooden railing as her eyes peered out into the fog.’
    • ‘He held the ball on the palm of his hands, studying it closely, peering at it the way a gemologist stares at a diamond.’
    • ‘She goes upstairs to the final room, peering in, gazing upon a closet that is taped shut.’
    • ‘His penetrating hazel eyes were also peering at her, studying her as well.’
    • ‘I peered through the fog, trying to see him, and reached out, hoping to possibly find him.’
    • ‘She was still there, where she'd stopped, peering around, squinting to see in the near darkness.’
    • ‘Wool-capped passengers shiver on deck, peering through the fog toward a sea as gray and hard as slate.’
    • ‘She peered around corners and snooped in vacant desks searching for anything that might be deemed incriminating.’
    • ‘His eyes peered through the fog that had surrounded the tiny building, more than 100 miles away.’
    • ‘His face, laced with concentration, peered intently into two laptop screens that encompassed the majority of his minimal setup.’
    squint, look closely, look earnestly, try to see, look through narrowed eyes, narrow one's eyes, screw up one's eyes
    peep, peek, pry, spy, look, gawp, gaze, stare, gape
    scrutinize, survey, examine, view, eye, scan, observe, study, regard, contemplate
    snoop
    squinny
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Be just visible:
      ‘the towers peer over the roofs’
      • ‘It is a site fit for a king, this hillside peering over the roofs of Berkeley toward an expanse of shimmering bay.’
    2. 1.2archaic [no object] Come into view; appear:
      ‘for yet a many of your horsemen peer’

Origin

Late 16th century: perhaps a variant of dialect pire or perhaps partly from a shortening of appear.

Pronunciation:

peer

/pɪə/

Main definitions of peer in English

: peer1peer2

peer2

noun

  • 1A member of the nobility in Britain or Ireland, comprising the ranks of duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron:

    ‘hereditary peers could still dominate the proceedings of the House of Lords’
    • ‘The King had to reinstate the Whigs, but he was at least spared the humiliation of creating new peers, as the Duke withdrew his opposition to the Reform Bill.’
    • ‘It is also to be heard on the front and back benches of the House of Commons and is used by some members of the Lords, whether life or hereditary peers.’
    • ‘Tory and Liberal Democrat peers last night joined forces in the House of Lords to derail Government attempts to introduce all-postal voting in both European and local elections.’
    • ‘Labour peer Baroness Golding said in a statement that the two protesters were guests of hers.’
    • ‘Until 1999 some 60 per cent of peers were hereditary.’
    • ‘Sons of peers and members of the gentry dominated the House of Commons, although there was a significant smattering of representatives from the armed forces and professions.’
    • ‘MPs offered peers a delay in the introduction of the ban until July 2006.’
    • ‘Lord Montagu was one of 92 hereditary peers selected to remain in the Upper House under a deal struck with the Government in 1999.’
    • ‘This change was an extension of Yorkist policy, both in Ireland and in the West Marches, where a minor peer, Thomas Lord Dacre, was appointed lieutenant.’
    • ‘Even disaffected peers like the Duke of Buckingham and the Earl of Shaftesbury used this chamber to voice much of their dissatisfaction.’
    • ‘This will remove hereditary peers and establish an independent Appointments Commission to select non-party members of the Upper House.’
    • ‘Lord Dundee, a hereditary peer and former Tory whip in the upper chamber, is also Hereditary Royal Banner Bearer for Scotland.’
    • ‘From 1761 to 1786 he was a Scottish representative peer and was then created a British peer as Baron Douglas.’
    • ‘With the Liberal Democrats and some independent peers thought to be opposed, the Government could easily face defeat.’
    • ‘It's not only MPs and peers who are members, but many of the thousands of staff who work in the Palace of Westminster or in Whitehall.’
    • ‘Non-hereditary peers have been created since the Life Peerage Act of 1958; they tend to be more active members of the Lords than many hereditary peers.’
    • ‘Six members are hereditary peers: the Duke of Buccleuch, the Earl of Wemyss, the Earl of Elgin, the Earl of Airlie, the Viscount of Arbuthnott, and the Earl of Crawford.’
    • ‘However, the priority was to build the new debating chambers, and provide office and library accommodation for members of parliament and peers.’
    • ‘For the second time this week both Houses of Parliament sat for emergency meetings, with full attendance of peers and members.’
    • ‘Although figures of hereditary importance, such as peers and members of landed families, have not been excluded, most are Yorkshire success stories from all walks of life.’
    aristocrat, lord, lady, peer of the realm, peeress, noble, nobleman, noblewoman, titled man, titled person, titled woman, patrician, member of the aristocracy, member of the nobility, member of the peerage
    View synonyms
  • 2A person of the same age, status, or ability as another specified person:

    ‘he has incurred much criticism from his academic peers’
    • ‘Our friends, family members, and peers often are the first to recognize the gifts and talents we possess.’
    • ‘A new student, but already at the top in the ranks of her peers.’
    • ‘College students were chosen for the workshop as they were considered to have the ability to influence their peers.’
    • ‘In other words, he gained the ability to see criticism by his peers and professors as constructive criticism.’
    • ‘Most of them must have learnt their craft by chance, or from peers or family members.’
    • ‘His fellow peers have now decided to seize their chance.’
    • ‘But far, far worse than that, we were the objects of ridicule of our peers and close family members.’
    • ‘Children who have difficulty getting along well with others often lack social support from family members and peers.’
    • ‘He has won prizes from his peers and plaudits from discriminating academics.’
    • ‘Discussion with teachers and peers improves cognitive ability.’
    • ‘There also should be a balance among team members or peers in professional situations.’
    • ‘On the statewide ballots, we asked the teachers to rank their peers on a grading scale.’
    • ‘I doubt whether many of my academic peers would be ‘at odds’ with such notions.’
    • ‘The rest of the children are classified as having an average status of popularity by peers.’
    • ‘This phrase means to reduce someone's status among their peers.’
    • ‘I won't let my family forget, and I won't let my friends, peers, schoolmates and co-workers forget.’
    • ‘There are some awards that really are worth accepting; that confer status or confirm the admiration of one's peers.’
    • ‘Most mistakes do no more than make us look ridiculous, yet ridicule from our peers can rank among our greatest fears.’
    • ‘His academic peers, however, describe him in markedly different terms.’
    • ‘He was admired by his peers for his ability to consistently do great work, to promote that work elegantly, and to stay a contemporary artist and photographer: to always be a man of his time.’
    contemporary, person of the same age
    equal, fellow, co-worker, match, like, rival
    View synonyms

verb

archaic
  • Make or become equal with:

    [no object] ‘the Thames could not peer with the mill-streamlet close to my home’
    [with object] ‘of Homer it is said that none could ever peer him for poetry’

Phrases

  • without peer

    • Unrivalled:

      ‘he is a goalkeeper without peer’
      • ‘As an institutional history, it stands without peer; it gives us a much needed contemporary history of an extraordinary place.’
      • ‘This is a precedent without peer in modern Australian political history.’
      • ‘Among the psychotherapies for children and adolescents, parent management training is without peer.’
      • ‘His drumming ability is simply without peer.’
      • ‘Owen's knowledge of corporate practices and the intricacies of doing business in nineteenth-century Russia is without peer and it shows in this chapter.’
      • ‘He gave up drinking a while ago, but he remains, quite simply and without peer, the worst driver of all time, constantly alternating between sudden acceleration and braking.’
      • ‘In this he was, and probably remains, without peer.’
      • ‘As a representation of the action it is fatuous - but the iconography is without peer.’
      • ‘This book is an historical who dunnit without peer.’
      • ‘It stands without peer in the public arena as the most authoritative record of one of the nation's most trying experiences.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French peer, from Latin par equal.

Pronunciation:

peer

/pɪə/