perk up

phrasal verb
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of perk up

informal
1 : to become more lively or cheerful or to make (someone) more lively or cheerful
  • We perked up when we heard the good news.
  • The good news perked everyone up.
2 : to make (something) fresher or more appealing
  • The new paint job really perked up the room.
3 chiefly US, of an animal's ears : to be lifted in a quick and alert way
  • The dog's ears perked up.
often used figuratively of a person
  • My ears perked up when I heard my name mentioned.

Word by Word Definitions

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

  2. : to stick up or out jauntily

  3. : to gain in vigor or cheerfulness especially after a period of weakness or depression

  1. : percolate

  1. : perquisite

up play
  1. : in or into a higher position or level

  2. : from beneath the ground or water to the surface

  3. : from below the horizon

  1. : risen above the horizon

  2. : standing

  3. : being out of bed

  1. used as a function word to indicate motion to or toward or situation at a higher point of

  2. : up into or in the

  3. : in a direction regarded as being toward or near the upper end or part of

  1. : one in a high or advantageous position

  2. : an upward slope

  3. : a period or state of prosperity or success

  1. : to rise from a lying or sitting position

  2. : to move upward : ascend

  3. used with and and another verb to indicate that the action of the following verb was either surprisingly or abruptly initiated


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