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

  • n. The skin or rind of certain fruits and vegetables.
  • n. A chemical peel.
  • transitive v. To strip or cut away the skin, rind, or bark from; pare.
  • transitive v. To strip away; pull off: peeled the label from the jar.
  • intransitive v. To lose or shed skin, bark, or other covering.
  • intransitive v. To come off in thin strips or pieces, as bark, skin, or paint: Her sunburned skin began to peel.
  • intransitive v. Slang To remove one's clothes; undress.
  • peel off To leave flight formation in order to land or make a dive. Used of an aircraft.
  • peel off To leave or depart.
  • n. A long-handled, shovellike tool used by bakers to move bread or pastries into and out of an oven.
  • n. Printing A T-shaped pole used for hanging up freshly printed sheets of paper to dry.
  • n. A fortified house or tower of a kind constructed in the borderland of Scotland and England in the 16th century.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To plunder; to pillage, rob.
  • v. To remove the skin or outer covering of.
  • v. To remove from the outer or top layer of.
  • v. To become detached, come away, especially in flakes or strips; to shed skin in such a way.
  • v. To remove one's clothing.
  • v. To move, separate (off or away)
  • n. The skin or outer layer of a fruit, vegetable etc. (usually uncountable)
  • n. The action of peeling away from a formation.
  • n. A cosmetic preparation designed to remove dead skin or exfoliate.
  • n. A stake.
  • n. A fence made of stakes; a stockade.
  • n. A small tower, fort, or castle; a keep.
  • n. A shovel or similar instrument, now especially a pole with a flat disc at the end used for removing loaves of bread from a baker's oven.
  • n. A T-shaped implement used by printers and bookbinders for hanging wet sheets of paper on lines or poles to dry.
  • n. The blade of an oar.
  • n. An equal or match; a draw.
  • n. A takeout which removes a stone from play as well as the delivered stone.
  • v. To send through a hoop (of a ball other than one's own).
  • v. Common misspelling of peal: to sound loudly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small tower, fort, or castle; a keep.
  • n. A spadelike implement, variously used, as for removing loaves of bread from a baker's oven; also, a T-shaped implement used by printers and bookbinders for hanging wet sheets of paper on lines or poles to dry. Also, the blade of an oar.
  • n. The skin or rind.
  • intransitive v. To lose the skin, bark, or rind; to come off, as the skin, bark, or rind does; -- often used with an adverb.
  • intransitive v. To strip naked; to disrobe. Often used with down .
  • transitive v. To plunder; to pillage; to rob.
  • transitive v. To strip off the skin, bark, or rind of; to strip by drawing or tearing off the skin, bark, husks, etc.; to flay; to decorticate.
  • transitive v. To strip or tear off; to remove by stripping, as the skin of an animal, the bark of a tree, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To strip the skin, bark, or rind from; strip by drawing or tearing off the skin; flay; decorticate; bark: as, to peel a tree; to peel an orange.
  • To strip off; remove by stripping.
  • Synonyms see pare, v. t
  • To lose the skin or rind; be separated or come off in thin flakes or pellicles: as, the orange peels easily; the bark peels off Swift.
  • To undress.
  • To plunder; devastate; spoil.
  • To be equal or have the same score in a game.
  • n. The skin, bark or rind of anything: as, the peel of an orange.
  • n. Synonyms Rind, etc. See skin.
  • n. A kind of wooden shovel with a broad blade and long handle, used by bakers to put bread into or take it out of the oven.
  • n. In printing, a wooden pole with a short cross-piece at one end, in the form of the letter , used to convey printed sheets to and from the horizontal poles on which they are dried.
  • n. The wash or blade of an oar, as distinguished from the loom.
  • n. A mark resembling a skewer with a large ring (), formerly used in England as a mark for cattle, a signature-mark for persons unable to write, or the like.
  • n. A fortified tower; a stronghold.
  • n. An equal; a match: as, they were peels at twelve.

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

  • v. strip the skin off
  • n. British politician (1788-1850)
  • v. get undressed
  • v. come off in flakes or thin small pieces
  • n. the rind of a fruit or vegetable


From Middle English pilen, pelen, to peel, from Old French peler, and Old English pilian (both from Latin pilāre, to deprive of hair, from pilus, hair) and from Old French pillier, to tug, pull, plunder (from Latin pilleum, felt cap).
Middle English, from Old French pele, from Latin pāla, spade, peel.
Middle English pel, stake, small castle, from Anglo-Norman, stockade, variant of Old French, stake, from Latin pālus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Alteration of pill (verb & noun), perhaps under the influence of Old French peler ("peel"), piller ("pillage"). Perhaps connected to Latin pellis meaning skin. (Wiktionary)
Anglo-Norman and Old French pel (compare modern French pieu), from Latin palus ("stake"). (Wiktionary)
From Old French pele (compare modern pelle), from Latin pala, from the base of plangere ("fix, plant"). (Wiktionary)
Origin unknown. (Wiktionary)
Named from Walter H. Peel, a noted 19th-century croquet player. (Wiktionary)
Misspelling. (Wiktionary)



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