peck at

phrasal verb

pecked at; pecking at; pecks at
: to take small bites of (food)
Her son pecked at his food and said he wasn't hungry.

Examples of peck at in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Beyond the shimmering pool, horses (part of the property's animal sanctuary) indulged in fresh corn treats, chickens pecked at the ground, and doves fluttered by. Josephine Wong, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 Apr. 2024 Thompson watches through binoculars until his bird begins to peck at the screen covering its nest hole. Jen Guyton, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Apr. 2024 Later, Nepali and I stood together in front of the aviary, watching about fifty wild vultures peck at the skeletal remains of the carcass. Meera Subramanian, The New Yorker, 31 Jan. 2024 Ground birds such as dove, quail and towhees will eagerly peck at seed on the ground, but the birds need cover close by in case a prowling Cooper’s hawk is looking for an easy lunch. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Feb. 2024 In one of the more unusual area occurrences in recent memory, a yellow-breasted chat has been coming to feeders and showing winter territorial behavior by pecking at the host’s windows. Taylor Piephoff, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 This is her name for the seventh circle of hell from Dante’s Inferno, where the souls of those who’ve committed suicide become trees, and harpies peck at them for all eternity. Sara Holdren, Vulture, 21 Nov. 2023 But efficient, low-energy, stationary postures aren’t all that great for doing all the things a turkey likes to do, like searching for food, pecking at rivals, and escaping from predators. Paul M. Sutter, Discover Magazine, 21 Nov. 2023 The fifth-century-B.C.E. Greek painter Zeuxis is said to have painted grapes that were so realistic that birds came down to peck at them. Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, 6 Nov. 2023

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

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Cite this Entry

“Peck at.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

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