There are 2 main definitions of peer in English:

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peer1

Line breaks: peer
Pronunciation: /pɪə
 
/

verb

[no object, with adverbial]
1Look with difficulty or concentration at someone or something: Faye peered at her with suspicion
More example sentences
  • His face, laced with concentration, peered intently into two laptop screens that encompassed the majority of his minimal setup.
  • Heaving herself up with some difficulty, she peered over the edge and let out a sigh of relief.
  • I frown and hunch over the wheel, peering forward, concentrating furiously and determined not to make another mistake.
Synonyms
squint, look closely/earnestly, try to see, look through narrowed eyes, narrow one's eyes, screw up one's eyes;
peep, peek, pry, spy, look, gawp, gaze, stare, gape;
scrutinize, survey, examine, view, eye, scan, observe, study, regard, contemplate
informal snoop
rare squinny
1.1Be just visible: the towers peer over the roofs
More example sentences
  • It is a site fit for a king, this hillside peering over the roofs of Berkeley toward an expanse of shimmering bay.
1.2 [no object] archaic Come into view; appear: for yet a many of your horsemen peer

Origin

late 16th century: perhaps a variant of dialect pire or perhaps partly from a shortening of appear.

More
  • pair from (Middle English):

    Pair comes from Latin paria ‘equal things’, formed from par ‘equal’. Latin par also lies behind compare (Late Middle English) ‘to pair with, bring together’; disparage (Middle English) originally ‘a mis-pairing especially in marriage’, later ‘to discredit’; nonpareil (Late Middle English) ‘not equalled’ (taken directly from the French); par (late 16th century) ‘equal’, a golfing term from L19th; parity [L16] ‘equalness’; peer (Middle English) ‘equal’; and umpire (Middle English) originally noumpere, from the same source as nonpareil, because an umpire is above all the players. A noumpere was later re-interpreted as ‘an umpire’ and the initial ‘n’ was lost.

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There are 2 main definitions of peer in English:

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peer2

Line breaks: peer
Pronunciation: /pɪə
 
/

noun

1A member of the nobility in Britain or Ireland, comprising the ranks of duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron: hereditary peers could still dominate the proceedings of the House of Lords
More example sentences
  • Six members are hereditary peers: the Duke of Buccleuch, the Earl of Wemyss, the Earl of Elgin, the Earl of Airlie, the Viscount of Arbuthnott, and the Earl of Crawford.
  • Even disaffected peers like the Duke of Buckingham and the Earl of Shaftesbury used this chamber to voice much of their dissatisfaction.
  • From 1761 to 1786 he was a Scottish representative peer and was then created a British peer as Baron Douglas.
Synonyms
aristocrat, lord, lady, peer of the realm, peeress, noble, nobleman, noblewoman, titled man/woman/person, patrician, member of the aristocracy/nobility/peerage
British informal nob, rah, chinless wonder

In the British peerage, earldoms and baronies were the earliest to be conferred; dukes were created from 1337, marquesses from the end of the 14th century, and viscounts from 1440. Such peerages are hereditary, although since 1958 there have also been non-hereditary life peerages. All peers were entitled to a seat in the House of Lords until 1999, when their number was restricted to 92 as an interim reform measure

2A person of the same age, status, or ability as another specified person: he has incurred much criticism from his academic peers
More example sentences
  • College students were chosen for the workshop as they were considered to have the ability to influence their peers.
  • This phrase means to reduce someone's status among their peers.
  • Discussion with teachers and peers improves cognitive ability.
Synonyms

verb

archaic Back to top  
Make or become equal with: [no object]: the Thames could not peer with the mill-streamlet close to my home [with object]: of Homer it is said that none could ever peer him for poetry

Origin

Middle English: from Old French peer, from Latin par 'equal'.

More
  • pair from (Middle English):

    Pair comes from Latin paria ‘equal things’, formed from par ‘equal’. Latin par also lies behind compare (Late Middle English) ‘to pair with, bring together’; disparage (Middle English) originally ‘a mis-pairing especially in marriage’, later ‘to discredit’; nonpareil (Late Middle English) ‘not equalled’ (taken directly from the French); par (late 16th century) ‘equal’, a golfing term from L19th; parity [L16] ‘equalness’; peer (Middle English) ‘equal’; and umpire (Middle English) originally noumpere, from the same source as nonpareil, because an umpire is above all the players. A noumpere was later re-interpreted as ‘an umpire’ and the initial ‘n’ was lost.

Phrases

without peer

1
Unrivalled: he is a goalkeeper without peer
More example sentences
  • As an institutional history, it stands without peer; it gives us a much needed contemporary history of an extraordinary place.
  • It stands without peer in the public arena as the most authoritative record of one of the nation's most trying experiences.
  • He gave up drinking a while ago, but he remains, quite simply and without peer, the worst driver of all time, constantly alternating between sudden acceleration and braking.

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