Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

preen

play
noun \ˈprēn\

Definition of preen

  1. 1 dial chiefly British :  pin

  2. 2 dial chiefly British :  brooch



Origin of preen

Middle English prene, from Old English prēon; akin to Middle High German pfrieme awl


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

preen

verb

Definition of preen

chiefly Scottish

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  pin



1572

First Known Use of preen

1572


3

preen

verb

Definition of preen

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 of a bird :  to groom with the bill especially by rearranging the barbs and barbules of the feathers and by distributing oil from the uropygial gland

  3. 2 :  to dress or smooth (oneself) up :  primp

  4. 3 :  to pride or congratulate (oneself) on an achievement

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 :  to make oneself sleek

  7. 2 :  to behave or speak with obvious pride or self-satisfaction

preener noun


Origin of preen

Middle English prenen, alteration of proynen, prunen, from Anglo-French puroindre, proindre, from pur- thoroughly + uindre, oindre to anoint, rub, from Latin unguere — more at purchase, ointment


First Known Use: 14th century


PREEN Defined for Kids

preen

play
verb \ˈprēn\

Definition of preen for Students

preenedpreening

  1. 1 :  to smooth and clean with the bill <The sparrow preened its feathers.>

  2. 2 :  to make a person's own appearance neat and tidy <He preened himself in front of the mirror.>




Learn More about preen


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up preen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the range of perception or understanding

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

perplex soothe disapprove reduce
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ