Skip to main content
Select Source:

peck

peck1 / pek/ • v. [intr.] (of a bird) strike or bite something with its beak: two geese were pecking at some grain| [tr.] beaks may be cut off to stop the hens pecking each other. ∎  [tr.] make (a hole) by striking with the beak: robins are the worst culprits, pecking holes in every cherry. ∎  [tr.] remove or pluck out by biting with the beak: vultures swooping down to peck out the calf's eyes. ∎  [tr.] kiss (someone) lightly or perfunctorily: she pecked him on the cheek. ∎  (peck at) inf. (of a person) eat (food) listlessly or daintily: don't peck at your food, eat a whole mouthful. ∎  (peck at) criticize or nag: defects for a critic to peck at. ∎  [tr.] type (something) slowly and laboriously: his son Paul was pecking out letters with two fingers on his typewriter. ∎ inf. (of a horse) pitch forward or stumble as a result of striking the ground with the front rather than the flat of the hoof: her father's horse had pecked slightly on landing. ∎  [tr.] archaic strike with a pick or other tool: part of a wall was pecked down and carted away. • n. 1. a stroke or bite by a bird with its beak: the bird managed to give its attacker a sharp peck. ∎  a light or perfunctory kiss: a fatherly peck on the cheek. 2. archaic food: he wants a little more peck. peck2 • n. a measure of capacity for dry goods, equal to a quarter of a bushel (8 U.S. quarts = 8.81 liters, or 2 imperial gallons = 9.092 liters). ∎ archaic a large number or amount of something: a peck of dirt.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"peck." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"peck." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peck-1

"peck." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved September 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peck-1

peck

peck a measure of capacity for dry goods, equal to a quarter of a bushel (2 imperial gallons = 9.092 l, or 8 US quarts = 8.81 l). The word is recorded from Middle English (used especially as a measure of oats for horses) and comes from Anglo-Norman French pek, of unknown origin.
a peck of March dust is worth a king's ransom proverbial saying, early 16th century, meaning that March is traditionally a wet month, and dust is rare.

See also we must eat a peck of dirt before we die.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"peck." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"peck." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peck

"peck." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved September 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peck

Peck

Peck

a measured quantity of either dry or wet substance; a fourth part of a bushel; more generally, a considerable quantity or number.

Examples : peck of ashes, 1710; of bees, 1713; of corn, 1386; of dirt, 1710; of kisses; of lies, 1539; of luck; of malt, 1789; of oatmeal, 1464; of oats, 1485; of pepper; of salt, 1603; of troubles, 1535.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Peck." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Peck." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peck

"Peck." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Retrieved September 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peck

peck

peck2 strike or take food with the beak XIV; strike with pointed tool XVI. of uncert. orig.; cf. PICK2, and MLG. pekken peck with the beak.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"peck." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"peck." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peck-3

"peck." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved September 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peck-3

peck

peck1 ¼ bushel. XIII. — AN. pek, of unkn. orig.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"peck." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"peck." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peck-2

"peck." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved September 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peck-2

peck

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"peck." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"peck." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/peck

"peck." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/peck

peck

peckbeck, bedeck, check, cheque, Chiang Kai-shek, crosscheck, Czech, deck, dreck, exec, fleck, heck, hitech, keck, lek, neck, peck, Québec, rec, reck, sec, sneck, spec, speck, spot-check, tec, tech, Toulouse-Lautrec, trek, wreck •Hayek • Baalbek • pinchbeck •Steinbeck • Warbeck •Brubeck, Lübeck •Uzbek • Beiderbecke • hacek •soundcheck • Dubcek • foredeck •sundeck • afterdeck • quarterdeck •Dalek, Palekh •fartlek • Chichimec • Olmec • redneck •breakneck • V-neck • bottleneck •swan-neck • roughneck • rubberneck •halterneck • leatherneck • turtleneck •henpeck • kopek • shipwreck • Hasek •Aztec • Mixtec • Toltec • infotech •discothèque • Zapotec

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"peck." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"peck." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peck-0

"peck." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved September 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/peck-0