Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A male peafowl, distinguished by its crested head, brilliant blue or green plumage, and long modified back feathers that are marked with iridescent eyelike spots and that can be spread in a fanlike form.
  • n. A peafowl, either male or female.
  • n. A vain person; a dandy.
  • intransitive v. To strut about like a peacock; exhibit oneself vainly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A male or female pheasant of the two genera: Pavo or Afropavo, whose males have extravagant tails.
  • n. A vainglorious person

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The male of any pheasant of the genus Pavo, of which at least two species are known, native of Southern Asia and the East Indies.
  • n. In common usage, the species in general or collectively; a peafowl.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cause to strut or pose and make an exhibition of one's beauty, elegance, or other fine qualifications; hence, to render proud, vain, or haughty; make a display of.
  • To strut about like a peacock, or in a manner indicating vanity: as, she peacocked up and down the terrace.
  • To pick the ‘eyes’ out of the land by selecting of buying up the choice pieces and waterfrontages so that the adjoining territory is practically useless to any one else.
  • n. A bird of the genus Pavo, specifically the male, of which the female is a peahen and the young a pea-chick. See peafowl.
  • n. [capitalized] In astronomy, the constellation Pavo.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. European butterfly having reddish-brown wings each marked with a purple eyespot
  • n. male peafowl; having a crested head and very large fanlike tail marked with iridescent eyes or spots

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English pocock, pecok : po, peacock (from Old English pawa, pēa, peafowl, from Latin pāvō, peacock) + Middle English cok; see cock1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English po ("peacock") + coc (see cock (n.)). Po is from Old English pāwa ("peafowl"), from Latin pavo (gen. pavonis), which, with Ancient Greek ταώς (taōs), said to be ultimately from Tamil தோகை (tōkai) (but perhaps is imitative; Latin represented the peacock's sound as paupulo). Used as the type of a vainglorious person from late 14c. Its flesh superstitiously believed to be incorruptible (even St. Augustine credits this). "When he sees his feet, he screams wildly, thinking that they are not in keeping with the rest of his body."

Examples

  • I was specifically drawn to ink that came in peacock blue and a deep, chocolatey brown.

    All Things Girl » All Things Girl » Blog Archive » Got Ink?

  • April 3rd, 2007 at 2: 26 am so beutiful peacock is my faviriout animal but i ll rather choose the beutiful green enrald peacock becus its me faviriout

    Black Woman White Skin

  • Mrs Squeers, when excited, was accustomed to use strong language, and, moreover, to make use of a plurality of epithets, some of which were of a figurative kind, as the word peacock, and furthermore the allusion to

    Nicholas Nickleby

  • Says Brett Crawford, president of All Star, There's been a growing market in peacock bass fishing, and those anglers need travel rods that can sling heavy baits.

    Have Rod, Will Travel

  • "The eagles have long enough followed their owl in peacock's feathers," cried Buchan; "and being tired of the game, I, like the rest, soar upward again!"

    The Scottish Chiefs

  • The peacock is an emblem of pride; when he struts, and shows his fine feathers, Solomon in all his glory is not arrayed like him.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume III (Job to Song of Solomon)

  • a fusewire blown in peacock spark, we've danced on quarks in danger's zone, and now embark for fields unknown to stride alone, without his ark.

    The Lucifer Cantos 13/13

  • a figurative kind, as the word peacock, and furthermore the allusion to Nicholas's nose, which was not intended to be taken in its literal sense, but rather to bear a latitude of construction according to the fancy of the hearers.

    Nicholas Nickleby

  • The person you can always count on to send you fascinating things to read at Christmas and your birthday, with the corners of the dust covers cut off so that you can’t see the price, and a warm message scrawled in peacock blue ink on the inside cover.

    Branching Out

  • HILLARD: � People around here say the so-called peacock wars heat up every few years.

    S. California Neighbors Cry Fowl Over Peacocks

Comments

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  • Hollywood slang for NBC.

    August 26, 2009

  • WeirdNet's definition isn't that bad today, but I'd have thought the bird was a more obvious choice for first place.

    According to the O.E.D. this can also be a verb: 'to make conceited or vain; to puff up with vanity; to dress up in finery', or to act ostentatiously. Also 'trans. Austral. To obtain the best portions of (a tract of land), esp. so as to make the remainder of little value to other people. See PEACOCKING n. 2. Now hist.'

    April 7, 2009

  • All feathers, and no meat.

    June 13, 2008

  • I like peahen even better.

    April 29, 2008

  • Wow, I hadn't heard about this. Thanks, npydyuan. I'm not surprised at the controversy, though. In recent years, book publishing seems to have become more litigious--and far more cutthroat--than it ever seemed to be in earlier eras. And then there's the concept of the public persona of the creation vs. the actual author. Once your written work gets into another's hands, I suppose, there's just no telling.

    October 17, 2007

  • Interesting--I would love to see

    October 17, 2007