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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

Examples of peacock in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The officer put the peacock in his vehicle and it was taken to the city’s shelter for further care, WFAA reported. Nicole Lopez, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 3 Apr. 2024 Every evening, about 20 wild peacocks wander into Dennis Morris’s front yard in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Sydney Page, Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2024 Take a conversation-starting pair of wicker peacock chairs picked up from a sale at the 1904 home Clarendon Court, or the second-floor Sun Room, arranged like a Gilded Age indoor-outdoor space with clusters of seating and palm fronds. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, 18 Mar. 2024 For example, peacocks use over-the-top tail feathers to attract females and cuckoo birds use their egg patterns to get other birds to raise their offspring. David Gaz, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Roaming peacocks and languidly swaying palm trees set the tone for an enchanting stay. Meagan Drillinger, Travel + Leisure, 11 Mar. 2024 Lines, far more than shape or color, bring this kind of art to life: when an object is supposed to be bright, short black ones stick out of it like feathers on a peacock; when somebody is supposed to be in motion, little trios of waves around the knees and elbows remind you. Jackson Arn, The New Yorker, 4 Mar. 2024 The America’s Got Talent judge partnered with a crew of Cirque du Soleil acrobats, who camouflaged themselves as peacock feathers and helped the star transform into a large bird. Michelle Lee, Peoplemag, 16 Nov. 2023 His catches this past week consisted of peacock bass up to 5.5 pounds, snook, and largemouth bass to six pounds, chain pickerel, clown knife fish, grass carp and Mayan cichlids. Alan Sherman, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024
The Romp in Providence drew mostly white Gen X and baby boomer women who each paid $10 to peacock about in Mrs. Roper’s signature look (tight red perm, floor-sweeping caftans, chunky costume jewelry) and compete in trivia and limbo contests. Erik Piepenburg,, 23 Aug. 2023 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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'peacock.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 19 Apr. 2024.

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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