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."

Definitions of peck
  1. verb
    hit lightly with a picking motion
    synonyms: beak, pick
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    type of:
    strike
    deliver a sharp blow, as with the hand, fist, or weapon
  2. verb
    eat like a bird
    synonyms: peck at, pick at
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    type of:
    eat
    take in solid food
  3. verb
    eat by pecking at, like a bird
    synonyms: pick up
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    type of:
    eat
    take in solid food
  4. verb
    kiss lightly
    synonyms: smack
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    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.
  5. verb
    bother persistently with trivial complaints
    synonyms: hen-peck, nag
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    type of:
    complain, kick, kvetch, plain, quetch, sound off
    express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness
  6. noun
    a British imperial capacity measure (liquid or dry) equal to 2 gallons
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    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
  7. noun
    a United States dry measure equal to 8 quarts or 537.605 cubic inches
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    type of:
    United States dry unit
    a unit of measurement of capacity for dry substances officially adopted in the United States Customary System
  8. noun
    (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
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    types:
    barrage, 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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