A pet is an animal you keep as a companion, usually in your house. People love to pet, or touch, their pets. A pet is also a favorite. A teacher’s pet is the teacher’s fave student. No barking required.
Your pet might be a hamster in a cage or a big dog that sleeps in your bed. Farm animals, like cows and goats, aren't usually considered to be pets, but that’s how the word started. Pet comes from Scottish dialect and used to refer to a favorite animal that got to come live inside, like Wilbur the pig in Charlotte’s Web. Pet is also a creepy form of endearment. When pet is a verb, it means “to stroke or caress.”