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

  • intransitive v. To stick up or jut out: dogs' ears that perk.
  • intransitive v. To carry oneself in a lively and jaunty manner.
  • transitive v. To cause to stick up quickly: The dog perked its ears at the noise.
  • adj. Perky.
  • perk up To regain or cause to regain one's good spirits or liveliness.
  • perk up To refresh the appearance of: New furniture and paint perked up the room.
  • n. Informal A perquisite: "Temper tantrums over perks are more common than the American taxpayer might like to believe” ( Maureen Dowd).
  • intransitive v. Informal To percolate: The coffee was perking on the stove.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Perquisite.
  • v. Shortened form of percolate.
  • n. A percolator, particularly of coffee.
  • v. To become more lively or enthusiastic.
  • v. To peer; to look inquisitively.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Smart; trim; spruce; jaunty; vain.
  • intransitive v. To exalt one's self; to bear one's self loftily.
  • intransitive v. To peer; to look inquisitively.
  • transitive v. To make trim or smart; to straighten up; to erect; to make a jaunty or saucy display of

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An obsolete form of perch.
  • Neat; trim; smart; hence, pert; airy; jaunty; proud.
  • To toss or jerk the head with affected smartness; be jaunty or pert: sometimes with an impersonal it.
  • To hold up smartly; prick up.
  • To dress; make spruce or smart; smarten; prank.
  • To peer; look narrowly or sharply.
  • To examine thoroughly.
  • n. A horizontal pole or bar serving as a support for various purposes, as a perch for birds or as the ridge-pole of a tent, or used for the hanging of yarns, skins, etc., to dry, or against which sawn timber may be stacked while seasoning, etc.
  • n. An obsolete or dialectal (Scotch) form of park.

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

  • n. an incidental benefit awarded for certain types of employment (especially if it is regarded as a right)
  • v. gain or regain energy


Possibly Middle English perken, to perch, from perk, rod, perch, probably from Medieval Latin perca and from Old French perche, perce, both from Latin pertica, rod; see perch1.
Shortening and alteration of perquisite.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From perquisite, by abbreviation. (Wiktionary)
From percolate (verb) and percolator (noun), by abbreviation. (Wiktionary)
The origin is uncertain. (Wiktionary)
The origin is uncertain. (Wiktionary)



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