peck

To peck is to jab or bite at something the way a bird does with its beak. A peck is also a unit of measurement, like when Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. (“Eight quarts” just didn’t sound right.)

Most birds peck at their food, and when a person eats in a bird-like way, they also peck. Another way to peck is to give someone a light kiss, a peck on the cheek. A completely different kind of peck is a unit of measurement. In the US, a peck is one quarter of a bushel, or two gallons of a dry substance. The verb sense of peck comes from 1500s thieves' slang, in which it meant "food."

Primary Meanings of peck

1.
v
hit lightly with a picking motion
2.
v
kiss lightly
3.
v
bother persistently with trivial complaints
4.
n
a British imperial capacity measure (liquid or dry) equal to 2 gallons
Full Definitions of peck
1

v hit lightly with a picking motion

Synonyms:
beak, pick
Type of:
strike
deliver a sharp blow, as with the hand, fist, or weapon

v eat like a bird

Synonyms:
peck at, pick at
Type of:
eat
take in solid food

v eat by pecking at, like a bird

Synonyms:
pick up
Type of:
eat
take in solid food
2

v kiss lightly

Synonyms:
smack
Type of:
buss, kiss, osculate, snog
touch with the lips or press the lips (against someone's mouth or other body part) as an expression of love, greeting, etc.
3

v bother persistently with trivial complaints

Synonyms:
hen-peck, nag
Type of:
complain, kick, kvetch, plain, quetch, sound off
express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness
4

n a British imperial capacity measure (liquid or dry) equal to 2 gallons

Type of:
British capacity unit, Imperial capacity unit
a unit of measure for capacity officially adopted in the British Imperial System; British units are both dry and wet

n a United States dry measure equal to 8 quarts or 537.605 cubic inches

Type of:
United States dry unit
a unit of measurement of capacity for dry substances officially adopted in the United States Customary System

n (often followed by `of') a large number or amount or extent

Synonyms:
batch, deal, flock, good deal, great deal, hatful, heap, lot, mass, mess, mickle, mint, mountain, muckle, passel, pile, plenty, pot, quite a little, raft, sight, slew, spate, stack, tidy sum, wad
Types:
deluge, flood, inundation, torrent
an overwhelming number or amount
haymow
a mass of hay piled up in a barn for preservation
Type of:
large indefinite amount, large indefinite quantity
an indefinite quantity that is above the average in size or magnitude

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