1

preen

noun \ ˈprēn \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of preen

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

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


2

preen

verb

Definition of preen

transitive verb
chiefly Scotland
: pin

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.

First Known Use of preen

1572


3

preen

verb

Definition of preen

transitive verb
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
intransitive verb
1 : to make oneself sleek
2 : to behave or speak with obvious pride or self-satisfaction

preener

noun

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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to remove or wipe out

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