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

  • intransitive verb To utter short, soft, high-pitched sounds, like those of a baby bird; cheep.
  • intransitive verb To speak in a hesitant, thin, high-pitched voice.
  • noun A short, soft, high-pitched sound or utterance, like that of a baby bird.
  • noun A slight sound or utterance.
  • noun Any of various small North American sandpipers.
  • intransitive verb To peek furtively; steal a quick glance.
  • intransitive verb To peer through a small aperture or from behind something.
  • intransitive verb To appear as though emerging from a hiding place.
  • intransitive verb To cause to emerge or become partly visible.
  • noun A quick or furtive look or glance.
  • noun A first glimpse or appearance.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The cry of a young chick or other little bird.
  • noun A sandpiper; a sandpeep.
  • To have the appearance of looking out or issuing from a narrow aperture or from a state of concealment; come partially into view; begin to appear.
  • To look (out or in) pryingly, slyly, or furtively, as through a crevice or small aperture; look narrowly, slyly, or pryingly; take a sly or furtive look; peer; peek.
  • To let appear; show.
  • noun A sly or furtive look through or as if through a crevice; a hurried or partial view; a glimpse; hence, the first looking out of light from the eastern horizon.
  • noun A crevice or aperture; a slit or opening affording only a narrow or limited view.
  • noun Specifically The slit in the leaf of a rifle-sight.
  • noun A pip.
  • To chirp, cheep, or pipe; utter a shrill thin sound, as a young chick.
  • To speak in a piping or chirping tone.
  • To speak.

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

  • intransitive verb To cry, as a chicken hatching or newly hatched; to chirp; to cheep.
  • intransitive verb To begin to appear; to look forth from concealment; to make the first appearance.
  • intransitive verb To look cautiously or slyly; to peer, as through a crevice; to pry.
  • intransitive verb an adjustable piece, pierced with a small hole to peep through in aiming, attached to a rifle or other firearm near the breech.
  • noun The cry of a young chicken; a chirp.
  • noun First outlook or appearance.
  • noun A sly look; a look as through a crevice, or from a place of concealment.
  • noun Any small sandpiper, as the least sandpiper (Trigna minutilla).
  • noun The European meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis).
  • noun a small show, or object exhibited, which is viewed through an orifice or a magnifying glass.
  • noun [Cant] the Irish insurgents of 1784; -- so called from their visiting the house of the loyal Irish at day break in search of arms.

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

  • verb To look, especially while trying not to be seen or noticed.
  • noun A quick look or glimpse, especially a furtive one.
  • noun obsolete A spot on a die or domino.
  • noun A quiet sound, particularly one from a baby bird.
  • noun A feeble utterance or complaint.
  • noun The sound of a steam engine's whistle; typically shrill.
  • noun A kind of bird; a sandpiper.
  • verb To make a soft, shrill noise like a baby bird.
  • verb To speak briefly with a quiet voice.
  • noun UK, slang person.

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

  • verb make high-pitched sounds
  • verb cause to appear
  • noun the short weak cry of a young bird
  • verb appear as though from hiding
  • verb look furtively


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

[Middle English *pepen, probably alteration of pipen, from Old English pīpian, to pipe, from pīpe, tube, musical instrument, and from Latin pīpāre, to peep; see pipe.]

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

[Middle English pepen, perhaps alteration of piken, to peek; see peek.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English pepen, variant of piken

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Of uncertain origin

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Onomatopoeic, from Middle English pepen

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Back-formation from peeps., a shortened form of people.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word peep.



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

  • 1486 Bk. St. Albans sig. fvii, A Pepe of chykennys.

    May 30, 2008

  • Anna: "Did Otto peep?" Otto: "Did Anna?"

    October 18, 2008

  • Peep is also a slang term for "friend", when it is used in the plural:

    "These are my peeps"

    June 9, 2009

  • From Pushing Daisies episode “Window Dressed to Kill”:

    Emerson: People who need people to do every damn thing for ’em aren’t always the luckiest people in the world. Sometimes those peeps get pissed off and start resentin’ their lazy-ass bosses. Erin and Coco’s peep done gone postal and killed both of ’em.

    Chuck: Peep this, playa.

    Emerson: Don’t do that.

    Chuck: Sorry.

    December 31, 2009

  • ha! I love Pushing Daisies...

    December 31, 2009

  • Can't wait for the opportunity to use 'peep this, playa'! Bah, ha, ha!

    December 31, 2009