1

preen

noun \ ˈprēn \
|Updated on: 20 Aug 2018

Definition of preen

1 dialectal, chiefly British : pin
2 dialectal, chiefly British : brooch

preen was our Word of the Day on 01/20/2013. Hear the podcast!

Origin and Etymology of preen

Middle English prene, from Old English prēon; akin to Middle High German pfrieme awl


2

preen

verb

Definition of preen

preened; preening; preens
chiefly Scotland
: pin

First Known Use of preen

1572

in the meaning defined above

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3

preen

verb

Definition of preen

preened; preening; preens
1 of a bird : to groom with the bill especially by rearranging the barbs and barbules of the feathers and by distributing oil from the uropygial gland
2 : to dress or smooth (oneself) up : primp
3 : to pride or congratulate (oneself) on an achievement
1 : to make oneself sleek
2 : to behave or speak with obvious pride or self-satisfaction

preener

noun

Recent Examples of preen from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of preen

Middle English prenen, alteration of proynen, prunen, from Anglo-French puroindre, proindre, from pur- thoroughly + uindre, oindre to anoint, rub, from Latin unguere — more at purchase, ointment


PREEN Defined for Kids

preen

verb \ ˈprēn \

Definition of preen for Students

preened; preening
1 : to smooth and clean with the bill
  • The sparrow preened its feathers.
2 : to make a person's own appearance neat and tidy
  • He preened himself in front of the mirror.


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fullness to the point of excess

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