\ ˈpir \

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

Colby Fleming, a sociologist at Westat who has studied masculinity and virginity, told Mel Magazine that this behavior plays out in social settings, acting as a way for a virgin's peers to basically bring them into the club. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "The Bachelor's Focus on Colton Underwood's Virginity Shows a Bigger Problem," 8 Jan. 2019 Unlike his peers, Musk is very available — especially on Twitter, as this year has demonstrated. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, "Elon Musk is the first influencer CEO," 21 Dec. 2018 Tuesday’s public testimony will be Pichai’s first before Congress in a year in which many of his tech peers have also traveled to Washington. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "Live updates from Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s testimony to Congress today," 11 Dec. 2018 Despite being one of TV's biggest stars (not to mention top earners), Ellen has managed to keep her family life with her husband, Chris Ivery, under the radar compared to many of her Hollywood peers. Samantha Drake, Country Living, "'Grey's Anatomy' Star Ellen Pompeo's Husband Chris Ivery Is Her 'Person' in Real Life," 27 Sep. 2018 But interactions with peers are just as essential, as are the ideas and collaborations that come from conversations at conferences. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "US travel ban blocking students from presenting their research," 14 Nov. 2018 As a result, his vote is shielded from the political pressures faced by his peers. Catie Edmondson, The Seattle Times, "Here are the 5 senators who will decide fate of Kavanaugh, Supreme Court," 2 Oct. 2018 Sir Purr was voted the 2018 NFL Mascot of the Year by his peers, according to the Panthers website on Thursday night. Mike Reader, charlotteobserver, "‘You’re the best.’ The Panthers’ Sir Purr and his video really are, vote NFL mascots.," 13 July 2018 The school system opened its first dual-language school east of the Anacostia River — a swath of the city with many low-income neighborhoods — last year in the hopes of getting those children to perform on par with their wealthier peers. Perry Stein, Washington Post, "Are dual-language programs in urban schools a sign of gentrification?," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Officers arrived to the suspect's apartment to see the man peering through his window blinds. Kimberly Rapanut, azcentral, "Man shot by Phoenix police officer was holding replica handgun," 10 July 2018 The Warm Line, an Illinois helpline that offers peer to peer counseling and support, received 1,330 calls in May, said Nanette Larson, director of recovery support services at the Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Mental Health. Tessa Weinberg,, "Local mental health providers get more calls as rate of suicide rises in Illinois, nationally," 8 June 2018 Anupam Datta, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, for instance, is not attempting to peer inside the black box directly, in the ways that Dr Darrell and Dr Riedl are. The Economist, "AI in societyFor artificial intelligence to thrive, it must explain itself," 15 Feb. 2018 The hunter peered through the scope of his .300 Winchester Magnum rifle. Ryan Sabalow, sacbee, "Wild pigs cause millions in damages in California. But hunting them could become easier," 25 June 2018 When Vardakostas was a toddler, the town’s local newspaper, Dana Point News, ran a photograph of him peering through the restaurant’s walk-up window. Lauren Smiley, WIRED, "The Mission to Build the Ultimate Burger Bot," 21 June 2018 Scientists could also categorize cells based on structure, but that unwieldy approach typically involves human experts peering through microscopes, which is much slower and does not enable many cells to be analyzed at once. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, "“Ghost” Cytometry May Improve Cancer Detection, Enable New Experiments," 14 June 2018 Sulston’s research was a prodigious single-handed effort, requiring long and lonely hours peering through a special microscope. Martin Weil,, "John Sulston, Nobel-winning scientist who helped decode human genome, dies at 75," 10 Mar. 2018 Quantities of cracked ice rattled refreshingly in the goblet; sprigs of mint peered above its rim; a mass of white sugar, too sweetly indolent to melt, rested on the mint; and like rose buds on a snow bank, luscious strawberries crowned the sugar. Mark Will-weber, Town & Country, "A Complete History of the Mint Julep," 10 Apr. 2017

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

12 Jan 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 \
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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
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