Definition of peek in English:


Syllabification: peek
Pronunciation: /pēk


[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)


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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


late Middle English pike, pyke, of unknown origin.


The word meaninglook 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).

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