Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A unit of dry volume or capacity in the US Customary System equal to 8 quarts or approximately 537.6 cubic inches.
  • noun A unit of dry volume or capacity in the British Imperial System equal to 8 quarts or approximately 554.8 cubic inches.
  • noun A container holding or measuring a peck.
  • noun Informal A large quantity; a lot.
  • intransitive verb To strike with the beak or a pointed instrument.
  • intransitive verb To make (a hole, for example) by striking repeatedly with the beak or a pointed instrument.
  • intransitive verb To grasp and pick up with the beak.
  • intransitive verb Informal To kiss briefly and casually.
  • intransitive verb To make strokes with the beak or a pointed instrument.
  • intransitive verb To eat in small sparing bits; nibble.
  • intransitive verb To make repeated criticisms; carp.
  • noun A stroke or light blow with the beak or a pointed instrument.
  • noun A mark or hole made by such a stroke.
  • noun Informal A light quick kiss.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun A stroke with the beak, or with some sharp-pointed tool.
  • noun Meat victuals; food.
  • noun A quantity; a great deal.
  • noun Specifically The fourth part of a bushel, a dry measure of 8 quarts for grain, pulse, etc.
  • noun A peck-measure.
  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun a British imperial capacity measure (liquid or dry) equal to 2 gallons
  • verb eat like a bird
  • noun a United States dry measure equal to 8 quarts or 537.605 cubic inches
  • verb eat by pecking at, like a bird
  • noun (often followed by `of') a large number or amount or extent

Etymologies

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

[Middle English.]

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

[Middle English pecken, probably variant of piken, to peck (perhaps influenced by Middle Low German pekken); see pick.]

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

    Zombies - Is it the End of the World?

  • 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

Comments

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

    July 6, 2008

  • also see peckable

    January 18, 2010

  • pectoralis major

    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

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

    May 26, 2010