peck Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun (often followed by `of') a large number or amount or extent
    plenty; great deal; pot; sight; flock; mint; slew; mountain; deal; wad; muckle; pile; lot; mickle; raft; quite a little; passel; hatful; mess; spate; heap; stack; good deal; batch; tidy sum; mass.
    • a batch of letters
    • a deal of trouble
    • a lot of money
    • he made a mint on the stock market
    • see the rest of the winners in our huge passel of photos
    • it must have cost plenty
    • a slew of journalists
    • a wad of money
  2. noun a British imperial capacity measure (liquid or dry) equal to 2 gallons
  3. noun a United States dry measure equal to 8 quarts or 537.605 cubic inches
  4. verb hit lightly with a picking motion
    beak; pick.
  5. verb eat by pecking at, like a bird
    pick up.
  6. verb kiss lightly
  7. verb eat like a bird
    pick at; peck at.
    • The anorexic girl just picks at her food
  8. verb bother persistently with trivial complaints
    nag; hen-peck.
    • She nags her husband all day long


Peck noun
Perh. akin to pack; or, orig., an indefinite quantity, and fr. peck, v. (below): cf. also F. picotin a peak.
  1. The fourth part of a bushel; a dry measure of eight quarts; as, a peck of wheat. "A peck of provender." Shak.
  2. A great deal; a large or excessive quantity. "A peck of uncertainties and doubts." Milton.
Peck transitive verb
See Pick, v.
imperfect & past participle Pecked ; present participle & verbal noun Pecking
  1. To strike with the beak; to thrust the beak into; as, a bird pecks a tree.
  2. Hence: To strike, pick, thrust against, or dig into, with a pointed instrument; especially, to strike, pick, etc., with repeated quick movements.
  3. To seize and pick up with the beak, or as with the beak; to bite; to eat; -- often with up. Addison.
    This fellow pecks up wit as pigeons peas. Shak.
  4. To make, by striking with the beak or a pointed instrument; as, to peck a hole in a tree.
Peck intransitive verb
  1. To make strokes with the beak, or with a pointed instrument. Carew.
  2. To pick up food with the beak; hence, to eat.
    [The hen] went pecking by his side. Dryden.
Peck noun
  1. A quick, sharp stroke, as with the beak of a bird or a pointed instrument.

Webster 1913