verb (1)
\ˈpərk \
perked; perking; perks

Definition of perk 

(Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to thrust up the head, stretch out the neck, or carry the body in a bold or insolent manner

b : to stick up or out jauntily

2 : 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

1 : to make smart or spruce in appearance : freshen, improve often used with up

2 : to thrust up quickly or impudently


verb (2)
perked; perking; perks

Definition of perk (Entry 2 of 3)



Definition of perk (Entry 3 of 3)

: perquisite usually used in plural

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Examples of perk in a Sentence


the salary's not great, but the perks make up for it

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While productivity has perked up some in the past six months, gains in output per worker have been weak during most of the current expansion. Eric Morath, WSJ, "Wages Rise at Fastest Rate in Nearly a Decade as Hiring Jumps," 2 Nov. 2018 With the ruling potentially having far-reaching effects outside of California, big coffee makers such as Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts perked up and were planning lengthy appeals. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "After coffee brewhaha, CA fears cancer warnings have “gone seriously wrong”," 16 Aug. 2018 My dog perks up in the passenger seat, tongue lolling out of her mouth, head cocked. Tyler Malone,, "The road taken by Robert Frost through New England," 29 June 2018 My ears perked up when Apple described the Series 4's new fall detection feature. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Apple Watch Series 4 hands-on: Sparking envy in current Apple Watch owners," 12 Sep. 2018 With the economy growing at a healthy clip, inflation has perked up after a decade of tame prices. Christopher Rugaber, Fox News, "US producer prices flat in July, restraining inflation," 9 Aug. 2018 The Yankees’ offense perked up after Orioles starter Andrew Cashner (2-7) retired the first six batters. Jeff Seidel, New York Times, "After Rocky Start, Sonny Gray Settles Down to Top Slumping Orioles," 1 June 2018 Led by assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, Justify calmly got off the van, ears perked, after a 1 1/2-hour flight from Louisville, Ky., for Saturday's 143th running of the Preakness Stakes. John Cherwa,, "Justify gets No. 7 post, 1-2 odds for Preakness," 19 May 2018 Their duties range from perking up sullen students to directing bus traffic to settling disputes to keeping an eye out for threats. Stephanie Saul, Timothy Williams And Anemona Hartocollis, New York Times, "School Officer: A Job With Many Roles and One Big Responsibility," 4 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Robo-advisers offer additional perks, including educational resources for help with planning for retirement or other financial goals, like buying a house. Anna-louise Jackson, The Seattle Times, "Tools and tactics to do your own financial planning," 25 Oct. 2018 Urban Decay’s rewards program is called UD Beauty Junkies and offers perks based on points accumulated by spending. Claire Beaudreault, SELF, "As a Woman in Recovery, the Term ‘Beauty Junkie’ Bothers Me," 30 July 2018 That is a perk reserved for only the biggest superstars; typical record contracts leave recordings, and the right to exploit them commercially, in the hands of the label. Anne Steele, WSJ, "Taylor Swift Tries to Help Fellow Artists With New Universal Music Deal," 19 Nov. 2018 Those who participate in Swipe Surge will also have their profile immediately boosted to the front of the line, which is a perk that users typically need to pay for during non-Surge times. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Tinder introduces Swipe Surge to alert users of high activity nearby," 15 Nov. 2018 The company, along with Apple and Facebook, was famously early to roll out egg-freezing benefits, a perk that some ominously read as a corporate insinuation to postpone family. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "At 35, I Went to a Millennial Egg-Freezing Clinic—and Now I’m Rethinking My Future," 12 Nov. 2018 One of those early bird strategies is Extra Magic Hours, a popular perk for guests at on-property Disney hotels. Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Get on Any Disney World Ride in 30 Minutes or Less," 8 Nov. 2018 Skylights in the kitchen and dining areas let in light, multiple gas fireplaces are a perk not part of the original Salem house, and no 17th-century homes boasted a jacuzzi tub. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Replica of spooky Salem Witch House asks $725K," 31 Oct. 2018 Though the stylish boots and new job are certainly a perk, Abby starts to hone in on what the calendar is really leading her to after a conversation with her granddad. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Netflix Just Released the Trailer for the New Christmas Movie 'The Holiday Calendar'," 23 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perk.' 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 perk

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

History and Etymology for perk

Verb (1)

Middle English

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Statistics for perk

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for perk

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

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More Definitions for perk



English Language Learners Definition of perk

: something extra that someone receives in addition to regular pay for doing a job

: a good thing that you have or get because of your situation


\ˈpərk \
perked; perking

Kids Definition of perk

1 : to make or become more lively or cheerful I perked up when I heard the good news.

2 : to make fresher in appearance Let's perk the room up with fresh paint.

3 : to lift in a quick, alert, or bold way The dog perked its ears.

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More from Merriam-Webster on perk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with perk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for perk

Spanish Central: Translation of perk

Nglish: Translation of perk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of perk for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about perk

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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