There are 3 main definitions of perk in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

perk1

Line breaks: perk
Pronunciation: /pəːk
 
/

verb

(perk up or perk someone/thing up)
Become or make more cheerful, lively, or interesting: [no object]: she’d been depressed, but she seemed to perk up last week [with object]: the coffee had perked him up long enough to tackle the reviews
More example sentences
  • So the demonstration, around 10 people shouting at once, perked things up a little.
  • I could barely detect the horseradish in the creamy bed of mashed potato, a more generous grating would have perked it up.
  • It's amazing how a bit of garlic and copious olive oil can perk things up.
Synonyms
cheer up, brighten (up), become more cheerful, become livelier, feel happier, take heart, be heartened, liven up, revive;
improve, get better, recover, rally, take a turn for the better, look up, pick up, bounce back, be on the mend
informal buck up
cheer up, liven up, brighten up, make more cheerful/lively, make happier, raise someone's spirits, give someone heart, give someone a boost/lift, revitalize, invigorate, energize, enliven, ginger up, put new life/heart into, add some zest to, put some spark into, rejuvenate, refresh, vitalize, vivify, wake up
informal buck up, pep up, zhoosh (up)
rare inspirit

Origin

late Middle English (in the senses 'perch' and 'be lively'): perhaps from an Old French dialect variant of percher 'to perch'.

More
  • The origin of perk in to perk up, ‘to become more lively, cheerful, or interesting’, is not wholly clear, though it may be related to perch, as ‘perk’ is an early spelling of ‘perch’. A perk meaning a benefit to which you are entitled because of your job is a shortening of perquisite (Late Middle English), from medieval Latin perquisitum ‘acquisition’. It is found from the early 19th century. People began to perk coffee in a percolator (mid 19th century) around 1920. This is from percolate (early 17th century), which is based on Latin percolare ‘to strain through’.

Words that rhyme with perk

berk, berserk, Burke, cirque, dirk, Dunkirk, erk, irk, jerk, kirk, lurk, mirk, murk, outwork, quirk, shirk, smirk, stirk, Turk, work

Definition of perk in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

There are 3 main definitions of perk in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

perk2

Line breaks: perk
Pronunciation: /pəːk
 
/

noun

(usually perks) informal
1A benefit to which one is entitled because of one’s job: many agencies are helping to keep personnel at their jobs by providing perks
More example sentences
  • They gave me time off to go climb mountains, and I was entitled to other perks like staff travel.
  • My host worked in an executive capacity for a large multinational company, a chauffeur-driven BMW being among the perks of her job.
  • And the job has its perks, including occasional dates with rock icons.
1.1An advantage or benefit arising from a particular situation: they were busy discovering the perks of town life
More example sentences
  • Anyone with a credit card can take advantage of the perks once reserved for a spoiled few.
  • This is the work of a writer who became a pop star by mistake, but discovered that the perks are better and stuck with it.
  • Practicing medicine in a small town has its perks.

Origin

early 19th century: abbreviation of perquisite.

More
  • The origin of perk in to perk up, ‘to become more lively, cheerful, or interesting’, is not wholly clear, though it may be related to perch, as ‘perk’ is an early spelling of ‘perch’. A perk meaning a benefit to which you are entitled because of your job is a shortening of perquisite (Late Middle English), from medieval Latin perquisitum ‘acquisition’. It is found from the early 19th century. People began to perk coffee in a percolator (mid 19th century) around 1920. This is from percolate (early 17th century), which is based on Latin percolare ‘to strain through’.

Definition of perk in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

There are 3 main definitions of perk in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

perk3

Line breaks: perk
Pronunciation: /pəːk
 
/
informal

verb

(With reference to coffee) percolate: [no object]: while the coffee perks, head out for the morning paper [with object]: she showed us how to perk the coffee
More example sentences
  • A pot of coffee already sat perking, filling the room with its rich aroma.
  • Sitting on the sky blue counter as her coffee perked, Kina silently swore.
  • As the coffee perked, she crawled through the door into the cabin looking a pale shade of green.

noun

Back to top  
A coffee percolator: Leo hooked up an extension cord for me so I can use my perk
More example sentences
  • I thought as I spotted the coffee perk, I need lethal doses of almost dangerously potent coffee.
Synonyms
fringe benefit, additional benefit, benefit, advantage, bonus, dividend, extra, plus, premium, consideration, reward;
North American lagniappe
informal freebie
British informal golden hello
formal perquisite
rare appanage

Origin

1930s: abbreviation of percolate.

More
  • The origin of perk in to perk up, ‘to become more lively, cheerful, or interesting’, is not wholly clear, though it may be related to perch, as ‘perk’ is an early spelling of ‘perch’. A perk meaning a benefit to which you are entitled because of your job is a shortening of perquisite (Late Middle English), from medieval Latin perquisitum ‘acquisition’. It is found from the early 19th century. People began to perk coffee in a percolator (mid 19th century) around 1920. This is from percolate (early 17th century), which is based on Latin percolare ‘to strain through’.

Definition of perk in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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