preener, n.
/preen/, v.t.
1. (of animals, esp. birds) to trim or dress (feathers, fur, etc.) with the beak or tongue: The peacock preened itself on the lawn.
2. to dress (oneself) carefully or smartly; primp: The king preened himself in his elaborate ceremonial robes.
3. to pride (oneself) on an achievement, personal quality, etc.: He preened himself on having been graduated with honors.
4. to make oneself appear striking or smart in dress or appearance: No amount of careful preening will compensate for poor posture.
5. to be exultant or proud.
[1480-90; late ME prene, var. of ME prunen, proynen (see PRUNE3), perh. by assoc. with prenen, to stab, pierce (v. use, now dial., of prene PREEN2), from the pricking action of a bird's beak in preening]
/preen/, n. Chiefly Brit. Dial.
a pin or brooch.
[bef. 1000; ME prene, OE preon a pin; c. ON prjonn pin; akin to D priem, G Pfreim awl]

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Preen — Preen, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Preened}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Preening}.] [See {Preen}, n.; or cf. {Prune}.] 1. To dress with, or as with, a preen; to trim or dress with the beak, as the feathers; said of birds. Derham. [1913 Webster] 2. To trim up, as… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Preen — Preen, n. [AS. pre[ o]n a clasp, bodkin; akin to D. priem punch, bodkin, awl, G. pfriem, Icel. prj[=o]nn a knitting needle, pin, Dan. preen a bodkin, punch.] A forked tool used by clothiers in dressing cloth. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • preen — [pri:n] v [I and T] [Date: 1400 1500; Origin: Probably from Old French proignier; PRUNE1] 1.) if a bird preens or preens itself, it cleans itself and makes its feathers smooth using its beak 2.) to spend time making yourself look tidier and more… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Preen — Preen, v. i. To dress up neatly and smartly; to make oneself well groomed and well dressed. [PJC] 2. To feel proud of one s achievement; to swell or gloat. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • preen — ► VERB 1) (of a bird) tidy and clean its feathers with its beak. 2) devote effort to making oneself look attractive. 3) (preen oneself) congratulate or pride oneself. ORIGIN probably related to obsolete prune, from Latin ungere anoint …   English terms dictionary

  • preen — [ prin ] verb intransitive or transitive 1. ) if a bird or animal preens or preens itself, it cleans and arrange its feathers or fur with its beak or tongue 2. ) to spend a lot of time trying to make yourself look more attractive by arranging… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • preen — to trim, to dress up, late 14c., perhaps a variation of prune (v.), or from O.Fr. poroindre anoint before, and O.Fr. proignier round off, prune. O.E. preon meant to pin, and probably influenced this word. Due to the popularity of falconry, words… …   Etymology dictionary

  • preen — plume, *pride, pique Analogous words: congratulate, *felicitate …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • preen — [v] admire and clean oneself beautify, clean, doll up, groom, prettify, pretty, primp, prink, spruce up, tidy; concept 161 …   New thesaurus

  • preen — [prēn] vt. [ME preynen, altered (infl. by preonen, to prick with a pin < preon < OE, a pin) < proinen, to PRUNE3] 1. to clean and trim (the feathers) with the beak: said of birds 2. to make (oneself) trim; dress up or adorn (oneself) 3.… …   English World dictionary

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