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

  • intransitive v. To look intently, searchingly, or with difficulty. See Synonyms at gaze.
  • intransitive v. To be partially visible; show: The moon peered from behind dark clouds.
  • n. A person who has equal standing with another or others, as in rank, class, or age: children who are easily influenced by their peers.
  • n. A nobleman.
  • n. A man who holds a peerage by descent or appointment.
  • n. Archaic A companion; a fellow: "To stray away into these forests drear,/Alone, without a peer” ( John Keats).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Somebody who is, or something that is, at a level equal (to that of something else).
  • n. A noble with a hereditary title, i.e., a peerage, and in times past, with certain rights and privileges not enjoyed by commoners.
  • v. To carry communications traffic terminating on one's own network on an equivalency basis to and from another network, usually without charge or payment. Contrast with transit where one pays another network provider to carry one's traffic.
  • n. Someone who pees, someone who urinates.
  • v. To look with difficulty, or as if searching for something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the same rank, quality, endowments, character, etc.; an equal; a match; a mate.
  • n. A comrade; a companion; a fellow; an associate.
  • n. A nobleman; a member of one of the five degrees of the British nobility, namely, duke, marquis, earl, viscount, baron.
  • intransitive v. To come in sight; to appear.
  • intransitive v. To look narrowly or curiously or intently; to peep.
  • transitive v. To make equal in rank.
  • transitive v. To be, or to assume to be, equal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To look narrowly or sharply: commonly implying searching or an effort to see: as, to peer into the darkness.
  • To appear; come in sight.
  • To appear; seem.
  • To play the peer; be a peer or equal; take or be of equal rank.
  • To make equal to or of the same rank with.
  • n. One of the same rank, qualities, endowments, character, or the like; an equal; a match.
  • n. A companion; a fellow; an associate.
  • n. A nobleman of an especial dignity.

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

  • n. a nobleman (duke or marquis or earl or viscount or baron) who is a member of the British peerage
  • n. a person who is of equal standing with another in a group
  • v. look searchingly


Middle English piren (probably from Frisian piren) and peren (short for aperen, to appear; see appear).
Middle English, from Old French per, equal, peer, from Latin pār; see perə-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Variant of piren, Middle English peren (Wiktionary)
From Anglo-Norman peir, Old French per, from Latin par. (Wiktionary)
pee +‎ -er (Wiktionary)



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  • Janus-word: peer as an equal vs. peer as an elite, a superior.

    August 23, 2014

  • "I hear we'd go before a jury of our peers, and I've always seeded generously."

    March 26, 2009