Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To strike with the beak or a pointed instrument.
  • transitive v. To make (a hole, for example) by striking repeatedly with the beak or a pointed instrument.
  • transitive v. To grasp and pick up with the beak: The bird pecked insects from the log.
  • transitive v. Informal To kiss briefly and casually.
  • intransitive v. To make strokes with the beak or a pointed instrument.
  • intransitive v. To eat in small sparing bits; nibble: He pecked at his dinner.
  • intransitive v. To criticize repeatedly; carp.
  • n. A stroke or light blow with the beak or a pointed instrument.
  • n. A mark or hole made by such a stroke.
  • n. Informal A light quick kiss.
  • n. A unit of dry volume or capacity in the U.S. Customary System equal to 8 quarts or approximately 537.6 cubic inches.
  • n. A unit of dry volume or capacity in the British Imperial System equal to 8 quarts or approximately 554.8 cubic inches. See Table at measurement.
  • n. A container holding or measuring a peck.
  • n. Informal A large quantity; a lot: a peck of troubles.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One quarter of a bushel; a dry measure of eight quarts.
  • n. A great deal; a large or excessive quantity.
  • n. A short kiss.
  • v. To strike or pierce with the beak or bill (of a bird) or similar instrument.
  • v. To do something in small, intermittent pieces.
  • v. To type by searching for each key individually.
  • v. To type in general.
  • v. To kiss.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The fourth part of a bushel; a dry measure of eight quarts.
  • n. A great deal; a large or excessive quantity.
  • n. A quick, sharp stroke, as with the beak of a bird or a pointed instrument.
  • intransitive v. To make strokes with the beak, or with a pointed instrument.
  • intransitive v. To pick up food with the beak; hence, to eat.
  • transitive v. To strike with the beak; to thrust the beak into.
  • transitive v. Hence: To strike, pick, thrust against, or dig into, with a pointed instrument; especially, to strike, pick, etc., with repeated quick movements.
  • transitive v. To seize and pick up with the beak, or as with the beak; to bite; to eat; -- often with up.
  • transitive v. To make, by striking with the beak or a pointed instrument.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To strike with the beak, as a bird; hence, to strike lightly with some sharp-pointed instrument.
  • To pick up or take with the beak.
  • To make or effect by striking with the beak or any pointed instrument: as, to peck a hole in a tree.
  • To make strokes or light blows with the beak or some pointed instrument.
  • To attack repeatedly with petty criticism; carp at.
  • To fall or pitch forward: said in particular of a horse when he touches the ground with his toe first in a stride, instead of stepping on the whole foot.
  • n. A stroke with the beak, or with some sharp-pointed tool.
  • n. Meat victuals; food.
  • n. A quantity; a great deal.
  • n. Specifically The fourth part of a bushel, a dry measure of 8 quarts for grain, pulse, etc.
  • n. A peck-measure.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a British imperial capacity measure (liquid or dry) equal to 2 gallons
  • v. eat like a bird
  • n. a United States dry measure equal to 8 quarts or 537.605 cubic inches
  • v. eat by pecking at, like a bird
  • n. (often followed by `of') a large number or amount or extent
  • v. hit lightly with a picking motion
  • v. bother persistently with trivial complaints
  • v. kiss lightly

Etymologies

Middle English pecken, probably variant of piken, to peck (perhaps influenced by Middle Low German pekken); see pick1.
Middle English.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • And my next peck is going to be the partially-completed chapter formerly known as Ch. 9.

    hey now, hey now

  • I still don’t know how much a peck is so I wash my veggies, but I don’t sterilize them before eating them – to get my share of clean, healthy dirt.

    Dirt is good « Dating Jesus

  • A lek is not the riotous, three-deep-at-the-bar party it could be for chickens because this congregation is governed by an extremely rigid social order known as the peck order, or more commonly, the pecking order.

    MY EMPIRE OF DIRT

  • My wife had already left for work by the time I was fully conscious, I vaguely recall her peck on the cheek before she descended the stairs.

    Archive 2007-06-01

  • The peck is a square wheel, awkward and slightly ominous.

    Even Cowgirls Get The Blues

  • A peck is a quarter of a bushel, which means each man could get about two-and-a-half pounds of corn meal per day, according to Wall.

    Boston.com Top Stories

  • Carl Jones, London, 15/04/2011 14:52 I agree with 'Devil's Avocado' - At the end of the day, a peck is a peck, but it is not necessary to snog 'tongues n all' in the middle of a packed place.

    Evening Standard - Home

  • A lawsuit has been filed against the city of El Paso and a popular restaurant because of what the plaintiff calls a peck on the lips.

    KDBC.com

  • Dr. SASS: They kind of peck and bother them and kind of chase them out, unfortunately.

    Healing Honey And The New Queen Bee(keepers)

  • Your front stitches seem to be im'peck'able couldn't help myself!

    The Red Deer

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Sadly, that line of Madmartigan's is all in the delivery.

    May 26, 2010

  • "Ooh, I'm really scared. No! Don't! There's a- a peck here with an acorn pointed at me!" speaking to Willow

    May 26, 2010

  • pectoralis major

    May 26, 2010

  • also see peckable

    January 18, 2010

  • 1381 in L. Morsbach Mittelengl. Originalurkunden (1923) 4 Jtem ii..bossheles feble and ii peckes of stre.

    July 6, 2008