Pecking



[pek] /pɛk/

verb (used with object)
1.
to strike or indent with the beak, as a bird does, or with some pointed instrument, especially with quick, repeated movements.
2.
to make (a hole, puncture, etc.) by such strokes; pierce.
3.
to take (food) bit by bit, with or as with the beak.
verb (used without object)
4.
to make strokes with the beak or a pointed instrument.
noun
5.
a quick stroke, as in pecking.
6.
a hole or mark made by or as by pecking.
7.
a quick, almost impersonal kiss:
a peck on the cheek.
8.
(in timber) incipient decay from fungi, occurring in isolated spots.
9.
pecks, Also, peckings. Slang. .
Verb phrases
10.
peck at,

/pɛk/
noun
1.
a unit of dry measure equal to 8 quarts or one quarter of a bushel
2.
a container used for measuring this quantity
3.
a large quantity or number
/pɛk/
verb
1.
when intr, sometimes foll by at. to strike with the beak or with a pointed instrument
2.
(transitive) sometimes foll by out. to dig (a hole) by pecking
3.
(transitive) (of birds) to pick up (corn, worms, etc) by pecking
4.
(intransitive) often foll by at. to nibble or pick (at one’s food)
5.
(informal) to kiss (a person) quickly and lightly
6.
(intransitive) foll by at. to nag
noun
7.
a quick light blow, esp from a bird’s beak
8.
a mark made by such a blow
9.
(informal) a quick light kiss
/pɛk/
noun
1.
Gregory. 1916–2003, US film actor; his films include Keys of the Kingdom (1944), The Gunfighter (1950), The Big Country (1958), To Kill a Mockingbird (1963), The Omen (1976), and Other People’s Money (1991)
n.

verbal noun from peck (v.), late 14c. As a behavior among hens, pecking order (1928) translates German hackliste (T.J. Schjelderuo-Ebbe, 1922); transferred sense of “human hierarchy based on rank or status” is from 1955.
v.

c.1300, possibly a variant of picken (see pick (v.)), or in part from Middle Low German pekken “to peck with the beak.” Related: Pecked; pecking.
n.

late 13c., “dry measure of one-quarter bushel,” of unknown origin; perhaps connected with Old French pek, picot (13c.), also of unknown origin (Barnhart says these were borrowed from English). Chiefly of oats for horses; original sense may be “allowance” rather than a fixed measure, thus perhaps from peck (v.).

“act of pecking,” 1610s, from peck (v.). It is attested earlier in thieves’ slang (1560s) with a sense of “food, grub.”

noun

verb

To eat (1960s+ Black)

Related Terms

a peck of trouble

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