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verb (1)

perked; perking; perks

intransitive verb

: to thrust up the head, stretch out the neck, or carry the body in a bold or insolent manner
: to stick up or out jauntily
: to gain in vigor or cheerfulness especially after a period of weakness or depression
usually used with up
he's perked up noticeably

transitive verb

: to make smart or spruce in appearance : freshen, improve
often used with up
: to thrust up quickly or impudently


2 of 3

verb (2)

perked; perking; perks


3 of 3


: perquisite
usually used in plural

Examples of perk in a Sentence

Noun the salary's not great, but the perks make up for it
Recent Examples on the Web
Redolent of garlic and rosemary, brothy, flecked with tomatoes and a few tiny pasta pieces, the soup perked us up. Michelle Huneven, Los Angeles Times, 27 Mar. 2024 The monsters on display are meant to perk us up (our heroes are chased by mutant grasshoppers, who get eaten by mutant Venus flytraps), but they, too, are unleashed in an onslaught that’s more random than not. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 21 Dec. 2023 Mint is also an energizing scent and can help perk you up during a long travel day. Kelsey Glennon, Travel + Leisure, 18 Dec. 2023 Other patients who might have asked for implants just a few years ago are now skipping them, instead getting breast lifts to perk things up without adding volume. Elizabeth Siegel, Allure, 6 Dec. 2023 But Pangaea’s first album in seven years mixes both, perking to life with meticulous beats before detonating hooks from the garish ends of house, rave, and speed garage. Pitchfork, 5 Dec. 2023 Maison Francis Kurkdjian Jasmin d'hiver Scented Candle, $105 From the beloved Parisian fragrance house Maison Francis Kurkdjian comes this cheerful candle that will perk you up on even the dreariest and darkest winter days. Katie Chang, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 Like many in the room, Lummis’ ears perked when a speaker called out Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act—a legislative shield that protects tech firms from liability for content users publish on their social media platforms. WIRED, 14 Sep. 2023 Sure, a mid-day coffee might artificially perk you up a bit, but your body simply needs a certain amount of sleep to function. Jackie Appel, Popular Mechanics, 21 Aug. 2023
Customers who don’t want to pay for the retailer’s membership perks have the option to sign up for either Target Circle or Target Circle Card, both of which are free. Francisco Velasquez, Quartz, 8 Apr. 2024 Evaporative humidifiers have the perk of being self-regulating, but ultrasonic humidifiers have the benefit of running more quietly. Paige Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 Apr. 2024 Summer Fridays, a seasonal perk allowing employees to get a jumpstart on their weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day, are on the rise. Mikaela Cohen, Fortune, 2 Apr. 2024 If one credit card issuer does decide to make a change after the settlement – whether that’s raising an annual fee or pushing back on certain benefits or perks – others will likely follow. Bailey Schulz, USA TODAY, 30 Mar. 2024 There are other glimpses of Carmichael’s newfound celebrity perks, like the stylist who brings him a rack full of clothes for the occasion. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 29 Mar. 2024 Hotels Universal Orlando currently has eight resorts operated by Loews Hotels (more to come with the Epic Universe expansion) that fall into four categories based on amenities and perks: Premier, Preferred, Prime Value, and Value. Elizabeth Rhodes, Travel + Leisure, 28 Mar. 2024 The active abilities are skills that players have control over such as the ability to use a hunter-seeker while techniques offer more passive perks. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, 27 Mar. 2024 Opulence has all these perks, plus a private chauffeur transfer, a more generous baggage allowance, free booking changes and, starting in July, use of an Apple Vision Pro. Daniel Ross, Robb Report, 28 Mar. 2024

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

Word History


Verb (1)

Middle English

First Known Use

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Verb (2)

1922, in the meaning defined above


1824, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of perk was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near perk

Cite this Entry

“Perk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to lift quickly or alertly
the dog perked up its ears
: to make fresher in appearance
new paint perked up the room
: to become more lively or cheerful
usually used with up
we perked up at the good news

More from Merriam-Webster on perk

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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