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Peck at   /pɛk æt/   Listen
Peck at

verb
1.
Eat like a bird.  Synonyms: peck, pick at.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Peck at" Quotes from Famous Books



... against the Greeks, OVIDIUS hints, proud manhood galls and piques. No doubt; yet NASO did it in his day, And we, in ours, who, sorely-pressed, would stay The rising tide of Revolution, check Disintegration, of the claws who'd peck At our political sleeves and platform hearts Must not be frightened. "Rummiest of starts," The ribald Cockney cries; to see at length, "The Tory seeking to recruit his strength Prom those he dubbed, in earlier, scornfuller mood The crowing hens, ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101, December 5, 1891 • Various

... him, but he bore up. When she was asleep, he said, he would hop on to the frilly things of her night-gown and peck at ...
— The Little White Bird - or Adventures In Kensington Gardens • J. M. Barrie

... body in the meanwhile had been placed under the shelter of one of the titanic caves which giant hands have carved in the acclivities of the chalk. Squire Boatfield ordered it to be removed. It was not fitting that birds of prey should be allowed to peck at the dead, nor that some unusually high tide should once more carry him out to sea, ere his murderer had been ...
— The Nest of the Sparrowhawk • Baroness Orczy

... Another Dead Failure Anna Dickinson A Bald-headed Man Most Crazy A Case of Paralysis A Doctor of Laws A Hot Box at a Picnic A Lively Train Load A Mad Minister A Musical Critique A Peck at the Cheese A Plea for the Bull Head A Sewing Machine Given to the Boss Girl A Safe Investment A Tony Slaughter-House A Trying Situation An Arm That is not Reliable An Editor Burglarized Banks and Banking Bounced from Church for Dancing ...
— Peck's Compendium of Fun • George W. Peck

... Austin came into the room he found his friend stooping over a very small, very dowdy old lady dressed in rusty black silk, with a large bonnet rather on one side, who was standing on tiptoe, the better to peck at St Aubyn's cheek by way of a salute. She had small, twinkling eyes, a wrinkled face, and the very honestest wig that Austin had ever seen; and yet there was an air and a style about the old body which somehow belied her quaint appearance, and suggested the idea ...
— Austin and His Friends • Frederic H. Balfour

... chimed in Cliantha, "that I wouldn't a 'cared the rappin' o' my finger ef old Blatch Turrentine hisself had been thar. I'd 'a' stood right up to him an' told him what I thort o' him an' his works." There are conditions, it is said, in which even the timid hare becomes militant, and doves will peck at the intruder. ...
— Judith of the Cumberlands • Alice MacGowan

... of swallows came along, and one of them immediately went out of his way to swoop down upon the hawk, and deal him a dab. Then, as he rejoined his companions, I heard him give a little chuckle, as though he said, "There! did you see me peck at him? You don't think I am afraid of such a fellow as that, do you?" To speak in Thoreau's manner, I rejoiced in the incident as a fresh illustration of the ascendency of ...
— Birds in the Bush • Bradford Torrey

... nest again, making the young birds squeal hoarsely, and peck at him viciously as well; but after the parents' attack, this seemed trifling, and, to his great satisfaction, he found that there was an egg ...
— The Black Tor - A Tale of the Reign of James the First • George Manville Fenn

... Annie felt the awfulness. It seemed to her that Mrs. Bolton's impatience with this intolerable hopefulness must burst violently. She hastened to interpose. "I think the trouble is that people don't fully understand Mr. Peck at first. But they ...
— Annie Kilburn - A Novel • W. D. Howells

... bits of meat up into the air for the hawks and eagles to catch in flight, just as we throw a bit of meat to a dog. Eagles and hawks fight and drive away the magpies and crows, which are very dangerous for cattle and horses, because they scratch and peck at the smallest wound or abrasion on the backs of the animals until they make them into uncurable areas which they continue ...
— Beasts, Men and Gods • Ferdinand Ossendowski

... wear my heart upon my sleeve for those pleasant daws to peck at. At any rate they do it gently, and both Mrs. Barnett and this young lady are birds ...
— Sweetapple Cove • George van Schaick

... upon their business; but the turf roof of it had fallen entirely in; so that the hut was of no use to me, and gave me less shelter than my rocks. What was more important, the shell-fish on which I lived grew there in great plenty; when the tide was out I could gather a peck at a time: and this was doubtless a convenience. But the other reason went deeper. I had become in no way used to the horrid solitude of the isle, but still looked round me on all sides (like a man that was hunted), between fear and hope that I might ...
— Kidnapped • Robert Louis Stevenson

... running away. He opened his eyes very quickly then. What do you think he saw? An ostrich—that same big ostrich he had seen and startled early in the day! It was standing over him, staring down with its great vacant eyes. Gradually its head came lower and lower down, until at last it made a sudden peck at a metal button on his jacket, and gave such a vigorous tug at it that Martin was almost lifted off the ground. He screamed and gave a jump; but it was nothing to the jump the ostrich gave when he discovered ...
— A Little Boy Lost • Hudson, W. H.

... the magpie, which Julien had seen the day before, was hopping around its mistress, like a familiar spirit; it even had the audacity to peck at her hair and then fly away, repeating, in its ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... the boy a withered bean-pod, and, summoning a meek little brownie, bade him see that the lad did not over-fill the acorn-cup, and that he did not so much as peck at a grain ...
— Junior Classics, V6 • Various

... are a people who certainly do not wear their hearts on their sleeves for daws to peck at. In the eyes of the more volatile southern Celts they seem a "dour" people. They are naturally reserved, laconic of speech, without "gush," far from lavish in compliment, slow to commit themselves or to give their confidence without good ...
— Ulster's Stand For Union • Ronald McNeill

... handsome craft, she is," the cook would say, and give her sugar from his pocket, and then the bird would peck at the bars and swear straight on, passing belief for wickedness. "There," John would add, "you can't touch pitch and not be mucked, lad. Here's this poor old innocent bird o' mine swearing blue fire, and none the wiser, you may lay ...
— Treasure Island • Robert Louis Stevenson

... plumage characteristic of youth. Young house-sparrows and hedge-sparrows not only chatter and swear at one another like the full-grown birds at pairing time, but also like the latter the young birds distend their throats, let their wings droop, peck at one another, and in fact behave as exactly as they will next spring when fully grown. Young linnets also begin to sing before losing their youthful plumage, learn to sing well during the moulting season, and often continue to warble right on into ...
— The Sexual Life of the Child • Albert Moll

... and fiercely alive too, all impatience and spring: the Byzantine birds peck idly at the fruit, and the animals hardly touch it with their noses. The cinque cento birds in Venice hold it up daintily, like train-bearers; the birds in the earlier Gothic peck at it hungrily and naturally; but the Lombard beasts gripe at it like tigers, and tear it off with writhing lips and glaring eyes. They are exactly like Jip with the bit of geranium, worrying imaginary cats ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume I (of 3) • John Ruskin

... sure enough it was! After that he came almost every day. If the window was shut they opened it for him. Charley used to hide hemp seed and sugar under the edge of the pillows for the Tramp to find. He always found it. Sometimes he would tie sugar up in a paper and the Tramp would peck at it until he got ...
— Our Young Folks at Home and Abroad • Various

... it from its cage on his finger. It hopped up his arm till it reached his cheek, where it began to peck at his whiskers, crying all the while in its ...
— Explorers of the Dawn • Mazo de la Roche

... Clara, holding her work at arms' length, and examining it, with her head on one side, like a bird eyeing the cherry he longs to peck at. "Lovely, ...
— The Old Countess; or, The Two Proposals • Ann S. Stephens

... candor, sincerity; singleness of purpose, singleness of heart; honesty &c 939; plain speaking; epanchement [Fr.]. rough diamond, matter of fact man; le palais de verite [Fr.]; enfant terrible [Fr.]. V. be artless &c adj.; look one in the face; wear one's heart upon his sleeves for daws to peck at^; think aloud; speak out, speak one's mind; be free with one, call a spade a spade. Adj. artless, natural, pure, native, confiding, simple, lain, inartificial^, untutored, unsophisticated, ingenu^, unaffected, naive; sincere, frank; ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... numbers, and with loud chattering commence assailing and annoying him in various ways, and soon drive him out of his retreat. The Jay, usually his first assailant, like a thief employed as a thief-taker, attacks him with great zeal and animation; the Chickadee, the Nuthatch, and the small Thrushes peck at his head and eyes; while other birds, less bold, fly round him, and by their vociferation encourage his assailants and help to ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... suggests the legend of Quentin Massys of Antwerp and the fly, or the still older, but perhaps not more historical story of the Greek painters, Zeuxis and the bunch of grapes, which the birds came to peck at, and Parrhasius, whose ...
— Weird Tales. Vol. I • E. T. A. Hoffmann

... In dry, open woods and thickets, and along shady roadsides, its loosely clustered heads of clear yellow, about one inch across, are displayed from July to September; and later the copious brown bristles remain for sparrows to peck at. ...
— Wild Flowers, An Aid to Knowledge of Our Wild Flowers and - Their Insect Visitors - - Title: Nature's Garden • Neltje Blanchan

... forms part of the bulwarks. The attempt on the part of some birds to steal stones from surrounding nests is about the most fruitful cause of a riot, and the thief generally gets soundly thrashed, besides which all have a peck at him as he makes his way with as much haste as possible from the danger-zone. As the season advances, these rookeries become covered with filthy slush, but it seems to make no difference to the eggs, ...
— The Home of the Blizzard • Douglas Mawson

... black one in our yard this spring, which none of the mother-hens would own. They would peck at it, and drive it away, till it was almost starved. Aunt Jennie told our little Hettie that she might have it for her own, if she would take care ...
— The Nursery, July 1873, Vol. XIV. No. 1 • Various

... thing exists) could enable young insectivorous birds to distinguish all the species of one kind from all those of the other. There is also some evidence to show that animals do learn by experience what to eat and what to avoid. Mr. Poulton was assured by Rev. G.J. Bursch that very young chickens peck at insects which they afterwards avoid. Lizards, too, often seized larvae which they were unable ...
— Darwinism (1889) • Alfred Russel Wallace

... catch a butterfly and, holding it uncrushed, walk into a wood, and have seen a woodthrush flutter down to him, take the butterfly from his fingers, speed away with it to feed its young and presently return to his empty hand, as if expecting another insect, perch on his hand, peck at it and remain some time; and there is no song-bird more fearful of mankind, more aloof, more retiring, more secret than ...
— Andivius Hedulio • Edward Lucas White

... a heart, it is possible I might not always wear it on my sleeve for Miss Elisabeth Farringdon to peck at." ...
— The Farringdons • Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler



Words linked to "Peck at" :   pick at, peck, eat



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