Share this entry
peek Syllabification: peek

Definition of peek in English:


[no object]
1Look quickly, typically in a furtive manner: faces peeked from behind the curtains
More example sentences
  • Judy bit her lip, opened the door to the operating room just a crack, and quickly peeked inside.
  • I wait for Diania to wake and dress, then I slip out of the storage facility and, still twitching, peek out into the room.
  • She peeks under the wrapping quickly then sets it back.
(have a) peep, have a peek, spy, take a sly/stealthy look, sneak a look/peek
informal take a gander
1.1Protrude slightly so as to be just visible: his socks were so full of holes his toes peeked through
More example sentences
  • The distant rays of the sun had just begun to peek slightly over the horizon.
  • He noticed one of her toes peeking out of a shoe - covered with dust, just like his own bare toes.
  • They did, and when I walked, the tips of the toes peeked out beneath the folds of silk.
appear (slowly/partly), show, come into view/sight, become visible, emerge, peep (out)


Back to top  
A quick and typically furtive look: a peek through the window showed that the taxi had arrived
More example sentences
  • Every now and then he heard a mumble or something else that caused him to sneak a quick peek at her.
  • He dared to sneak a quick peek at the judge and saw that there were tears in her eyes.
  • It started to rain inside the classroom although (after a quick peek at the window) it was sunny outside.
secret look, sly look, stealthy look, sneaky look, peep, glance, glimpse, hurried/quick look
informal gander, squint


The word meaning ‘look quickly or furtively’ and ‘a quick or furtive look’ is peek, not peak: the sun peeks out only intermittently; a sneak peek at what’s in store. In some contexts, this error is very common: for example, almost a third of citations for the expression a sneak peek in the Oxford English Corpus are for the incorrect spelling ( a sneak peak).


Late Middle English pike, pyke, of unknown origin.

Words that rhyme with peek

antique, batik, beak, bespeak, bezique, bleak, boutique, cacique, caïque, cheek, chic, clique, creak, creek, critique, Dominique, eke, freak, geek, Greek, hide-and-seek, keek, Lalique, leak, leek, Martinique, meek, midweek, Mozambique, Mustique, mystique, oblique, opéra comique, ortanique, peak, Peake, physique, pique, pratique, reek, seek, shriek, Sikh, sleek, sneak, speak, Speke, squeak, streak, teak, technique, tongue-in-cheek, tweak, unique, veronique, weak, week, wreak
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources