\ 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
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
peered; peering; peers

Definition of peer (Entry 3 of 3)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from peer


peer adjective

Examples of peer in a Sentence

Noun He was respected and admired by his peers. teenagers spending time with their peer groups
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Today's chart shows the Russell vs. its peers over the past month. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Stocks continue to rally despite China-Hong Kong tensions and mounting jobless claims," 28 May 2020 Like its peers, SeaWorld will limit capacity, offer contactless payment options and will increase cleaning and sanitation of high-contact surfaces. Curtis Tate, USA TODAY, "Walt Disney World sets July 11 reopening date for Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom," 27 May 2020 But these films consistently focused on teens from a narrow demographic; when their peers of color were included, they were usually relegated to sidekick status. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Secret Lives of Teenage Sidekicks," 26 May 2020 More than a dozen high school student groups have also issued a joint statement urging their peers — newly returned to campuses following months of closures induced by the coronavirus — to strike. Natalie Lungand Iain Marlow,, "Hong Kong braces for downtown protests on China-backed laws," 26 May 2020 The game then inspired a website, The Oracle of Bacon, that calculates the shortest path from the Footloose star to any of his Hollywood peers. Barton Gellman, Wired, "Inside the NSA’s Secret Tool for Mapping Your Social Network," 24 May 2020 In Taiwan, first grade students at schools with programs designed to increase their outdoors time to 11 hours or more each week had less progression of myopia over one year compared to their peers. Olivia Killeen, The Conversation, "Increasing screen time during COVID-19 could be harmful to kids’ eyesight," 21 May 2020 Unlike her peers, Australian artist Wafia believes that productivity isn't the end-all, be-all at this time. Ineye Komonibo,, "Wafia’s “Pick Me” Is The Result Of A Radical Journey To Self-Discovery," 17 May 2020 Both of her boys volunteer with Silicon Valley Youth, an organization in which teens tutor their peers. Ellen Mccarthy, Washington Post, "I gave up on being Superwoman a long time ago. I don’t do everything.," 6 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But to catch a glimpse, families sometimes resort to peering through the windows of homes. Jennifer Smith Richards, ProPublica, "More Than 1 in 5 Illinoisans Living in State Homes for Adults With Disabilities Have Tested Positive for the Coronavirus," 22 May 2020 Walking around the crumbling foundation, one fellow saw an old well, peered down into it and hollered. Mike Hanback, Outdoor Life, "18 Best Tips For Finding Your First Shed Antler," 24 Mar. 2020 Carr called for scrutiny of the secretive subpoenas and questioned whether Schiff was still peering into private records. Daniel Chaitin, Washington Examiner, "Not forgotten: Devin Nunes exploring 'legal remedies' after Adam Schiff released phone records," 21 Mar. 2020 Some fans posted up behind center field and peered through the fence; others stood on ladders to get a better view. Chris Lamb, The Conversation, "This isn’t the first time sports teams have played in eerily empty arenas," 12 Mar. 2020 WASP-12b’s impending demise marks a first for exoplanet astronomy and presents a rare opportunity to peer inside a star by studying its tides. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "This pitch-black exoplanet is spiraling toward its doom," 2 Jan. 2020 In 1965, Snowdon composed this image of the Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures—the title for the Royal Collection's head curator—peering through a microfilm, pensive and inscrutable, with one eye obscured in shadow. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Lord Snowdon’s Work Was About So Much More Than the Royal Family," 15 Dec. 2019 The sculpture includes many holes, like windows or doors, built into the curvature of the reformed tree branches so that visitors can walk or peer into the piece. Mindy Sink, The Know, "Plan a mini road trip to these immersive outdoor art installations around Colorado," 30 Sep. 2019 Definitively diagnosing the disorder requires invasive surgery; doctors need to peer inside the pelvis through a laparoscopy. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Women with endometriosis suffer terrible pain. There’s finally a new treatment option.," 24 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about peer

Time Traveler for peer

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for peer

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Peer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for peer


How to pronounce peer (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on peer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for peer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!