\ ˈpir How to pronounce peer (audio) \

Definition of peer

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : one that is of equal standing with another : equal The band mates welcomed the new member as a peer. especially : one belonging to the same societal group especially based on age, grade, or status teenagers spending time with their peers
2a : a member of one of the five ranks (duke, marquess, earl, viscount, or baron) of the British peerage
b : noble sense 1 Peers and commoners alike were shown the same courtesy.
3 archaic : companion


verb (1)
peered; peering; peers

Definition of peer (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to look narrowly or curiously a child peering from behind a tree especially : to look searchingly at something difficult to discern She peered into the dark closet looking for her missing shoe.
2 : to come slightly into view : emerge partly a vast white cloud, through which the sun peered— Francis Kingdon-Ward


verb (2)
peered; peering; peers

Definition of peer (Entry 3 of 3)

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Other Words from peer


peer adjective

Synonyms for peer

Synonyms: Noun

gentleman, grandee, lord, milord, nobleman

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Examples of peer in a Sentence


He was respected and admired by his peers. teenagers spending time with their peer groups

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That is why Americans are 25 times more likely to die from gun homicide than our peer nations. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Gun Violence Is a Women's Issue," 27 Mar. 2019 These educators, nominated by peers, have demonstrated excellence in promoting biliteracy. Laura Groch,, "North County School News, June 28," 28 June 2018 That's what keeps me going, that I'm held to a high standard every single day — not just by the fans and all that stuff — but by my family, by my team, by my peers. Jon Meoli,, "Orioles' Adam Jones peaking at the plate as uncertainty over future mounts: 'I hold the cards'," 22 June 2018 So neighborhood residents and Calle 24 have taken up another tool: peer pressure. Jonathan Kauffman,, "Is 24th Street’s Latino Cultural District enough to stop gentrification?," 15 June 2018 After a promotion earlier in his career, Tim Tolan said, invitations from some former peers at work ‘came to an abrupt halt.’ Photo: Erica Tolan Moving into management can set off a seismic social shift in the office. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "When a Promotion Means Losing Friends at Work," 26 Feb. 2019 Laurence Fishburne tees him up beautifully in this regard as his sometimes-peer, sometimes-rival Dr. Bill Foster. Sam Machkovech And Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Films for the discerning nerd: Ars picks the best of 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 As a woman in my 40s, my own perceptions of aging and cultural relevance are constantly being shaped, and reshaped, by media, history, my peers, and strong, uncommon women like Rodin., "Linda Rodin’s Rise To Accidental Style Icon," 12 July 2018 On stage and off, individuals use their knowledge and skills to compete for income against their peers, and the winnings are fundamentally scarce, if not zero-sum. Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, "Win a Game Show, Pay Off Your Student Debt," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The first picture captures Torres and Bishop peering into a stroller. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'NCIS' Star Wilmer Valderrama Teases an Intimate Moment Between Torres and Bishop," 11 Dec. 2018 Walking the halls of Miami’s Brain Endowment Bank, I was introduced to researchers and peered into a microscope at Alzheimer’s tissue. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "I Have a Half Mind to Donate My Brain to Science," 18 Apr. 2018 For pension funds, endowments and other big investors, being shut out of these exclusive funds is a bit like peering into a hot nightclub that allows only VIPs inside. Gregory Zuckerman, WSJ, "These Hedge Funds Are Doing Great but Don’t Want Your Money," 29 July 2018 One particular problem with peering at the insides of living organisms is that the surface of the subject tends to scatter light, distorting the image. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Watch Cells Move Within Living Animals in This Breathtaking Footage," 30 Apr. 2018 But most of them are focused on navigating their routes rather than peering into what could be their future. Robert Weisman,, "For those who receive — and deliver — Meals on Wheels, more than nutrition is on the menu," 20 Apr. 2018 There, too, were the high notes, thrillingly nailed. Recitals are a format for flashing strengths, but also for peering into multiple corners of the artist, and this encounter left me feeling slightly shortchanged. Peter Dobrin,, "Met soprano Angela Meade gives Philly fans a thrilling peek ahead in her recital debut here," 8 Jan. 2018 But the photos are very different; Omer Kanipak’s image of children peering into the Hive was shortlisted in the buildings in use category, while Jeff Eden’s photo of the building in snow was shortlisted in the Sense of Place category. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Are these the best architectural photos of 2018?," 4 Oct. 2018 Dozens of fans peered through a chain-link fence, jazzed for some baseball, calling out to Orel Hershiser as reporters finished up a session with manager Dave Roberts. Andy Mccullough,, "Clayton Kershaw faces a year unlike any other in his Dodgers career," 26 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of peer


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for peer

Noun and Verb (2)

Middle English, from Anglo-French per, from per, adjective, equal, from Latin par

Verb (1)

perhaps by shortening & alteration from appear

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Dictionary Entries near peer

peep sight







Statistics for peer

Last Updated

6 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for peer

The first known use of peer was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for peer



English Language Learners Definition of peer

: a person who belongs to the same age group or social group as someone else
: a member of the British nobility


\ ˈpir How to pronounce peer (audio) \
peered; peering

Kids Definition of peer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to look curiously or carefully
2 : to come slightly into view : peep out



Kids Definition of peer (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a person of the same rank or kind : equal
2 : a member of one of the five ranks (duke, marquis, earl, viscount, and baron) of the British nobility

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More from Merriam-Webster on peer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with peer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for peer

Spanish Central: Translation of peer

Nglish: Translation of peer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of peer for Arabic Speakers

Comments on peer

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


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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