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

  • noun A small cylindrical or tapered pin, as of wood, used to fasten things or plug a hole.
  • noun A similar pin forming a projection that may be used as a support or boundary marker.
  • noun Music One of the pins of a stringed instrument that are turned to tighten or slacken the strings so as to regulate their pitch.
  • noun A degree or notch, as in estimation.
  • noun Chiefly British A drink of liquor.
  • noun Baseball A low and fast throw made to put a base runner out.
  • noun Informal A leg, especially a wooden one.
  • intransitive verb To fasten or plug with a peg or pegs.
  • intransitive verb To designate or mark by means of a peg or pegs.
  • intransitive verb To fix (a price) at a certain level or within a certain range.
  • intransitive verb Informal To classify; categorize.
  • intransitive verb Informal To throw.
  • intransitive verb To work steadily; persist.
  • idiom (take (someone) down a peg) To reduce the pride of; humble.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To pith (a frog); destroy the brain of, previous to certain experiments.
  • Same as to peg out .
  • To mark out by pegs, as a miner's claim, each peg bearing the owner's name.
  • In croquet, to put out by driving against the winning peg: said of a ball.
  • noun A pointed pin of wood, metal, or other material.
  • noun A pin which serves to transmit power or perform any other function in machinery, etc.
  • noun A projecting pin on which to hang anything.
  • noun A small wedge-shaped projecting piece of hard wood fixed to a jewelers’ board, upon which the workman performs most of his operations.
  • noun A pin used in the game of cribbage to mark the points.
  • noun A pin thrust or driven into a hole, and generally left projecting, as a tent-peg, used in fastening a tent to the ground, or a vent-peg, used to stop the vent of a cask.
  • noun A foot or leg. Compare pin in like sense.
  • noun A pin or point fastened to a pole or string, used to spear or harpoon turtles; a turtle-peg.
  • noun The nag or wooden ball used in the game of shinty.
  • noun A stroke; a blow.
  • noun A drink made of soda-water poured upon spirit, usually whisky or brandy.The name originated with British officers in India.
  • noun One of the cells or natural divisions into which an orange may be separated after removing the skin.
  • To thrust or drive pegs into for the purpose of fastening; fasten by means of pegs; furnish with pegs: as, to peg boots or shoes.
  • To spear or harpoon (the green turtle) by means of the turtle-peg.
  • To fix (a market price), and prevent fluctuation, by buying all that is offered at that price, thus preventing any lower quotations from being made, or selling all that the market will take at that price, thus preventing higher quotations.
  • To work or strive persistently: generally followed by away or along.
  • To use the turtle-peg: as, to peg for a living.
  • To depart; die.

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

  • intransitive verb To work diligently, as one who pegs shoes; -- usually with on, at, or away.
  • transitive verb To put pegs into; to fasten the parts of with pegs; ; to confine with pegs; to restrict or limit closely.
  • transitive verb (Cribbage), colloq. To score with a peg, as points in the game.
  • transitive verb To identify; to recognize.
  • transitive verb (Baseball) To throw (a ball).
  • noun A small, pointed piece of wood, used in fastening boards together, in attaching the soles of boots or shoes, etc..
  • noun A wooden pin, or nail, on which to hang things, as coats, etc. Hence, colloquially and figuratively: A support; a reason; a pretext.
  • noun One of the pins of a musical instrument, on which the strings are strained.
  • noun One of the pins used for marking points on a cribbage board.
  • noun A step; a degree; esp. in the slang phrase “To take one down a peg.”
  • noun India A drink of spirits, usually whisky or brandy diluted with soda water.
  • noun (Baseball) a hard throw, especially one made to put out a baserunner.
  • noun a board with multiple small holes into which pegs can be inserted in different arrays so as to form hooks from which to hang tools or other objects for convenient access; it is typically hung from a wall in a workshop.


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

[Middle English pegge, from Middle Dutch.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Middle Dutch pegge ("pin, peg"), from Old Saxon *pigg-, *pegg-, from Proto-Germanic *pig-, *pag- (“peg, stake”), from Proto-Indo-European *bak- (“club, pointed stick, peg”). Cognate with Dutch dialectal peg ("pin"), Low German pig, pigge ("peg, stick with a point"), Low German pegel ("post, stake"), Irish bac ("stick, crook"), Latin baculum ("staff"), Latvian bakstît ("to poke"), Ancient Greek βάκτρον (báktron, "staff, walking stick").


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  • Then down we sat, pulling out of brother Anthony's wallet some large pieces of bread and good substantial slices of roast meat, at which we began pegging with all possible pertinacity.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 4 ch. 11

    September 18, 2008

  • The word peg is coming into use as a term for the act of a female using a strap on dildo to perform anal sex on a male. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the adoption of this term is that sex columnist Dan Savage noticed there was no common term for this act and asked his readers to vote on the term they preferred. They could choose from three terms, BOB, punt, and peg. (BOB was taken from a popular how to do it film, Bend Over Boyfriend.)

    Is it possible that peg is the first word to gain a new meaning through a popular vote?

    June 8, 2009