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pea·​cock ˈpē-ˌkäk How to pronounce peacock (audio)
: a male peafowl distinguished by a crest of upright feathers and by greatly elongated loosely webbed upper tail coverts which are mostly tipped with iridescent spots and are erected and spread in a shimmering fan usually as a courtship display
broadly : peafowl
: one making a proud display of oneself : show-off
peacockish adjective
peacocky adjective


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peacocked; peacocking; peacocks

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
But that doesn’t mean those raptor experts who had a fast burst of initial learning will master their subject in the long run and know what to make of a strutting peacock. Chris Gorski, Popular Mechanics, 5 Dec. 2022 All humpbacks make vocalizations, but only males sing; the songs are most commonly thought to act as mating displays, possibly like the bowers constructed by male bowerbirds or the dances performed by male peacock jumping spiders. Matthew Hutson, The New Yorker, 29 Nov. 2022 In a walled garden is a 4-foot peacock statue that is said to have washed out to sea during a storm, then reappeared after another storm decades later, Mr. Leno said. Candace Taylor, WSJ, 23 Nov. 2022 Richard decides to fly away to travel on his own and crosses paths with Samia and her sparrow flock who are being held captive by evil marabous under the control of the greedy peacock Zamano. Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 2 Nov. 2022 Enlarge / Predatory chicks and artificial peacock butterflies in a behavioral experiment. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 19 Oct. 2022 Plus, Kendall seeks house-flipping advice from Scott, Martha Stewart stops by the Khloe-Kris compound, and Khloe and Kris go peacock shopping. Mj Corey, Vogue, 13 Oct. 2022 Blue-and white peacock pattern curtains lighten up the dark walls. Maria V. Charbonneaux, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 Oct. 2022 The supply list is surprisingly simple: a turquoise onesie and orange leggings are dressed up with peacock feathers, fluffy turquoise feathers, and sequined elastic. Amy Mitchell, Country Living, 30 Aug. 2022
Andy Rosen, the Chairman and CEO of Kaplan, has every reason to peacock around the education landscape. Rod Berger, Forbes, 7 June 2022 No occasion grants celebrities the chance to peacock with quite the unbridled excess of the annual Met Gala; even the Oscars red carpet can't compete as fashion's biggest night. ELLE, 22 Mar. 2022 The congregation may shout or cut a step, and the preacher may peacock a bit to animate the sermon; release can often look like entropy to the untrained eye. Briana Younger, Vulture, 23 Mar. 2021 Police in all those cases demonstrated restraint, standing by while protesters screamed in their faces and peacocked around with guns strapped to their backs., 27 May 2020 Risky Business’ Starts streaming: April 1 Watching this comedy feels like opening a time capsule and being transported back to 1983, when Tom Cruise was a fresh-faced newcomer and coming-of-age movies centered on rich, peacocking white boys. Eleanor Stanford, New York Times, 1 Apr. 2020 The latter days are open to the public, when art appreciators and peacocking influencers can strut down the dizzying aisles of galleries. Zachary Schwartz, Vogue, 6 Mar. 2019 And of course, peacocking extends way beyond the steps. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, 14 Oct. 2019 On an absurdly beautiful autumn day, Thomasin McKenzie is contemplating the blazing trees of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, which are peacocking in bursts of reds and yellows. Lauren Mechling, Vogue, 7 Dec. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'peacock.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



Middle English pecok, from pe- (from Old English pēa peafowl, from Latin pavon-, pavo peacock) + cok cock

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1818, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of peacock was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near peacock

Cite this Entry

“Peacock.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


: the male of a very large Asian pheasant having a very long brightly colored tail that can be spread or raised, a small crest of upright feathers on the top of the head, and in most forms brilliant blue or green feathers on the neck and shoulders

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Pea·​cock ˈpē-ˌkäk How to pronounce Peacock (audio)
Thomas Love 1785–1866 English novelist and poet

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