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peacock orchid n. See acidanthera. * * *
See peacockish. * * *
pea family n. A large and widespread family of plants, the Leguminosae (Fabaceae), characterized by stipulate, usually compound leaves, often bilaterally symmetrical flowers, and ...
/pee"fowl'/, n., pl. peafowls, (esp. collectively) peafowl. any of several gallinaceous birds of the genera Pavo, of India, Sri Lanka, southeastern Asia, and the East Indies, and ...
/peeg/, n. wampum (def. 1). [1640-50, Amer.; shortening of WAMPUMPEAG] * * *
pea green n. A moderate, strong, or brilliant yellow green.   peaʹ-greenʹ (pēʹgrēnʹ) adj. * * *
/pee"hen'/, n. the female peafowl. [1375-1425; late ME pehenne. See PEACOCK, HEN] * * *
pea jacket n. A short, warm, double-breasted coat of heavy wool, worn especially by sailors. Also called pea coat.   [Probably partial translation of Dutch pijjekker: pij, a ...
peak1 —peakless, adj. —peaklike, adj. /peek/, n. 1. the pointed top of a mountain or ridge. 2. a mountain with a pointed summit. 3. the pointed top of anything. 4. the ...
Peak District
an area of hills, valleys, moors (= high land that is not cultivated) and caves, mostly in north Derbyshire, England. It has been a national park since 1951 and is very popular ...
Peak Downs
▪ region, Queensland, Australia       fertile region of northeast central Queensland, Australia, comprising rolling scrub- and grass-covered country studded with peaks ...
peak experience
Psychol. a high point in the life of a self-actualizer, during which the person feels ecstatic and more alive and whole than is usual. [1960-65] * * *
peak time.
See prime time. [1965-70] * * *
Peak-to-trough decline in industrial production in various countries
▪ Table Peak-to-trough decline in industrial production in various countries (annual data) country decline United States 46.8% United ...
Peake, Mervyn
▪ English novelist born July 9, 1911, Kuling, Kiangsi Province, China died Nov. 17, 1968, Burcot, Oxfordshire, Eng.       English novelist, poet, painter, playwright, ...
peaked1 /peekt, pee"kid/, adj. having a peak: a peaked cap. [1400-50; late ME pekyd. See PEAK1, -ED3] peaked2 —peakedly, adv. —peakedness, n. /pee"kid/, adj. pale and drawn ...
peakflow meter
peak flow meter n. A portable instrument that detects minute decreases in air flow, used by people with asthma to monitor small changes in breathing capacity. * * *
—peakily, adv. —peakiness, n. /pee"kee/, adj., peakier, peakiest. peaked2. [1870-75; PEAK(ED)2 + -Y1] * * *
/peel/, n. 1. a loud, prolonged ringing of bells. 2. a set of bells tuned to one another. 3. a series of changes rung on a set of bells. 4. any loud, sustained sound or series of ...
/peel/, n. 1. Charles Willson /wil"seuhn/, 1741-1827, and his brother James, 1749-1831, U.S. painters. 2. Norman Vincent, born 1898, U.S. Protestant clergyman and author. 3. ...
Peale, Anna Claypoole
▪ American painter born March 6, 1791, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S. died Dec. 25, 1878, Philadelphia  American painter of miniatures who—like her sister Sarah (Peale, Sarah ...
Peale, Charles Willson
born April 15, 1741, Queen Anne's county, Md. died Feb. 22, 1827, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S. U.S. painter, inventor, and naturalist. He began his career by exchanging a saddle for ...
Peale, Norman Vincent
born May 31, 1898, Bowersville, Ohio, U.S. died Dec. 24, 1993, Pawling, N.Y. U.S. Protestant clergyman. The son of a Methodist preacher, he attended Ohio Wesleyan University ...
Peale, Rembrandt
born Feb. 22, 1778, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, U.S. died Oct. 3, 1860, Philadelphia, Penn. U.S. painter and writer. A son of Charles Willson Peale, he studied with his father ...
Peale, Sarah Miriam
▪ American painter born May 19, 1800, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S. died Feb. 4, 1885, Philadelphia       American painter who, with her sister Anna (Peale, Anna Claypoole), ...
Peale,Norman Vincent
Peale, Norman Vincent. 1898-1993. American cleric known for his popular self-help book The Power of Positive Thinking (1952). * * *
/pee"mowth'/, n., pl. peamouths /-mowths', -mowdhz'/. a minnow, Mylocheilus caurinus, of northwestern U.S. and British Columbian waters. [PEA1 + MOUTH] * * *
/pee"euhn/, n. paean. * * *
/pee ah"noh/; It. /pe ah"naw/, n. Giuseppe /jooh zep"pe/, 1858-1932, Italian mathematician. * * *
Peano curve
Math. a curve that passes through every point of a two-dimensional region. [named after G. PEANO] * * *
Peano's postulates
Math. a collection of axioms concerning the properties of the set of all positive integers, including the principle of mathematical induction. Also called Peano's axioms. Cf. ...
Peano, Giuseppe
▪ Italian mathematician born Aug. 27, 1858, Cuneo, Kingdom of Sardinia [now in Italy] died April 20, 1932, Turin, Italy       Italian mathematician and a founder of ...
/pee"nut', -neuht/, n. 1. the pod or the enclosed edible seed of the plant, Arachis hypogaea, of the legume family: the pod is forced underground in growing, where it ripens. 2. ...
peanut butter
a paste made from ground roasted peanuts, used as a spread or in cookery. [1885-90, Amer.] * * *
peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
➡ peanut butter * * *
peanut gallery
1. Informal. the rearmost and cheapest section of seats in the balcony or the uppermost balcony of a theater. 2. Slang. a source of insignificant criticism: No remarks from the ...
peanut heaven
North Midland U.S. See peanut gallery (def. 1). * * *
peanut oil
a yellow to greenish oil expressed or extracted from peanuts, used in cookery, as a vehicle for medicines, and in the manufacture of margarine and soap. Also called arachis ...
peanut worm
any small, unsegmented, marine worm of the phylum Sipuncula, that when disturbed retracts its anterior portion into the body, giving the appearance of a peanut seed. Also called ...
peanut brittle n. A hard toffee containing peanuts. * * *
peanut butter n. A paste made from ground roasted peanuts. * * *
peanut gallery n. 1. The hindmost or uppermost section of seating in a theater balcony, where the seats are cheapest. 2. A group of people whose opinions are considered ...
peanut oil n. The oil pressed from peanuts, used for cooking, in soaps, and as a solvent for pharmaceutical preparations. * * *
a very popular US comic strip which has also appeared in many newspapers all over the world. It was drawn by Charles Schulz (1922–2000) and was first published in 1950. It is ...
—pearlike, adj. /pair/, n. 1. the edible fruit, typically rounded but elongated and growing smaller toward the stem, of a tree, Pyrus communis, of the rose family. 2. the tree ...
pear haw
a shrub or small tree, Crataegus uniflora, of the eastern and southern coastal areas of the U.S., having pear-shaped, orange-red fruit. Also called blackthorn. * * *
pear psylla
a small jumping plant louse, Psylla pyricola, originally of Europe, that is a major pest of pears in the eastern U.S. [1900-05; < NL Psylla, genus name < Gk: flea] * * *
/pair"shaypt'/, adj. 1. having the shape of a pear; tapering near the top and bulging toward the base or bottom: a pear-shaped vase. 2. (of a vocal tone) clear, resonant, and ...
Pearce, Philippa
▪ 2007       British book editor and children's writer (b. Jan. 23, 1920, Great Shelford, near Cambridge, Eng.—d. Dec. 21, 2006, London, Eng.), was best known for her ...
Pearic languages
      a branch of the Mon-Khmer family of languages, which is itself a part of the Austroasiatic stock. The Pearic languages include Chong, Samre (Eastern Pear), Samrai ...
pearl1 —pearler, n. —pearlish, adj. —pearllike, adj. /perrl/, n. 1. a smooth, rounded bead formed within the shells of certain mollusks and composed of the mineral ...
/perrl/, n. 1. a town in central Mississippi. 20,778. 2. a female given name. * * * I Concretion formed by a mollusk and consisting of the same material (called nacre, or ...
pearl ash
pearl ash n. a refined potash, potassium carbonate * * *
pearl barley
barley milled into small, round grains, used in cooking, esp. in soups. [1700-10] * * *
pearl blue
—pearl bluish. a light bluish gray. * * *
Pearl City
a city on S Oahu, in central Hawaii. 42,575. * * *
pearl cotton
a two-ply mercerized cotton thread used chiefly in handweaving and needlework. Also, perle cotton. * * *
pearl danio
a slender iridescent tropical cyprinid, Brachydanio albolineatus, from parts of southeast Asia: a popular freshwater aquarium fish. * * *
pearl diver
a person who dives for pearl oysters or other pearl-bearing mollusks. [1660-70] * * *
pearl essence
a lustrous, silvery-white substance obtained from the scales of certain fishes or derived synthetically, as from mercuric chloride: used chiefly in the manufacture of simulated ...
pearl gray
a very pale bluish gray. [1790-1800] * * *
Pearl Harbor
1. a harbor near Honolulu, on S Oahu, in Hawaii: surprise attack by Japan on the U.S. naval base and other military installations December 7, 1941. 2. any significant or ...
Pearl Harbor attack
▪ Japanese-United States history   (Dec. 7, 1941), surprise aerial attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor on Oahu Island, Hawaii, by the Japanese that precipitated ...
pearl hominy.
See under hominy. * * *
Pearl Islands
▪ archipelago, Panama Spanish  Archipiélago de Las Perlas         archipelago, in the Gulf of Panama, about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Panama City, Panama, ...
Pearl Jam
▪ 1995       One of the most popular rock bands in the United States, Pearl Jam not only wrote songs about perceived injustices but also, in June and July 1994, actually ...
pearl lightning.
See bead lightning. * * *
pearl millet
a tall grass, Pennisetum americanum (or P. glaucum), cultivated in Africa, the Orient, and the southern U.S. for its edible seeds and as a forage plant. Also called African ...
pearl molding
Archit. a molding having the form of a row of pearls. Also called bead molding, Paternoster. * * *
pearl onion
a small white onion, often pickled and used as an appetizer or garnish. [1885-90] * * *
pearl oyster
any of several marine bivalve mollusks of the family Pteriidae, some of which form pearls of great value, inhabiting waters of eastern Asia and off the coasts of Panama and Lower ...
pearl perch
an edible marine fish, Glaucosoma scapulare, of eastern Australian coastal waters. * * *
Pearl River
1. a river flowing from central Mississippi into the Gulf of Mexico. 485 mi. (780 km) long. 2. See Zhu Jiang. * * * River, central Mississippi, U.S. It flows southwest through ...
Pearl River Delta
▪ delta, China Chinese (Pinyin)  Zhu Jiang Sanjiaozhou  or  (Wade-Giles romanization)  Chu Chiang San-chiao-chou , also called  Canton Delta   extensive low-lying area ...
Pearl S Buck
➡ Buck * * *
pearl tapioca.
See under tapioca. * * *
Pearl, Daniel
▪ 2003       American journalist (b. Oct. 10, 1963, Princeton, N.J.—d. late January? 2002, Pakistan), went to work for The Wall Street Journal in 1990 and by 2000 had ...
Pearl, Minnie
▪ 1997       (SARAH OPHELIA COLLEY CANNON), U.S. entertainer (b. Oct. 25, 1912, Centerville, Tenn.—d. March 4, 1996, Nashville, Tenn.), performed at Nashville's Grand ...
Pearl, Raymond
▪ American zoologist born June 3, 1879, Farmington, N.H., U.S. died Nov. 17, 1940, Hershey, Pa.  American zoologist, one of the founders of biometry, the application of ...
See pearl gray. * * *
/pair"land', -leuhnd/, n. a town in SE Texas. 13,248. * * *
/perrl"ash'/, n. commercial potassium carbonate. [1720-30; PEARL1 + ASH1] * * *
Pearl City (pûrl) A village of Hawaii on Pearl Harbor in southern Oahu. It was severely damaged during the attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941). Population: 30,993. * * *
pearl danio n. A slender freshwater tropical fish (Brachydanio albolineatus) that has silvery scales and is popular as an aquarium fish. * * *
pearl diver n. A person who dives in search of mollusks containing pearls. * * *
pearl·er (pûrʹlər) n. 1. A pearl diver. 2. A boat engaged in seeking or trading pearls. * * *
See pearlescent. * * *
/peuhr les"euhnt/, adj. having an iridescent luster resembling that of pearl; nacreous: healthy skin with a pearlescent glow. [1945-50; PEARL1 + -ESCENT, on the model of ...
—pearleyed, adj. /perrl"uy'/, n., pl. pearleyes, (esp. collectively) pearleye. any of several deep-sea fishes of the family Scopelarchidae, having large, hooked teeth on the ...
/perrl"fish'/, n., pl. pearlfishes, (esp. collectively) pearlfish. any of several small fishes of the family Carapidae, living within pearl oysters, sea cucumbers, starfishes, ...
pearl gray n. A light gray, from yellowish to light bluish gray.   pearlʹ-grayʹ (pûrlʹgrāʹ) adj. * * *
Pearl Harbor An inlet of the Pacific Ocean on the southern coast of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. It became the site of a naval base after the United States annexed Hawaii in ...
—pearlitic /perr lit"ik/, adj. /perr"luyt/, n. 1. Metall. a microscopic lamellar structure found in iron or steel, composed of alternating layers of ferrite and cementite. 2. ...
/perr"luyzd/, adj. resembling or made to resemble mother-of-pearl; iridescent: pearlized buttons. [1950-55; PEARL1 + -IZE + -ED2] * * *
pearl millet n. A tropical Old World grass (Pennisetum americanum) having long, dense flowering panicles and whitish grains that are used as food. Also called African millet. * * ...
pearl onion n. A tiny onion with a mild flavor, often pickled and used as a condiment. * * *
pearl oyster n. Any of several bivalve marine mollusks of the genus Pinctada and related genera of tropical waters, especially P. margaritifera, a major commercial source of ...
Pearl River 1. A river, about 780 km (485 mi) long, of central and southern Mississippi flowing southwest then south to the Gulf of Mexico. Its lower course forms part of the ...
/perrl"steen/, n. Philip, born 1924, U.S. painter. * * *
Pearlstein, Philip
▪ American painter born May 24, 1924, Pittsburgh, Pa., U.S.       American painter whose portraits and images of nude models in studio settings reinvigorated the ...
—pearliness, n. /perr"lee/, adj., pearlier, pearliest. 1. like a pearl, esp. in being white or lustrous; nacreous: her pearly teeth. 2. adorned with or abounding in pearls or ...
Pearly Gates
the entrance to heaven. * * *
pearly king
n (BrE) (in London) a man who on special occasions wears dark clothes covered in thousands of small shiny buttons. A pearly queen is a woman who does the same. This is a ...
pearly nautilus
nautilus (def. 1). [1770-80] * * *
pearly queen
n ➡ pearly king. * * *
pearly razorfish.
See under razorfish. * * *
pearly white
1. white and lustrous as a pearl. 2. pearly whites, Slang. teeth. [1890-95] * * *
pearly everlasting n. A rhizomatous plant (Anaphalis margaritacea) having woolly, gray-green foliage and long-lasting, whitish flower heads. * * *
Pear·ly Gates (pûrʹlē) n. Informal The gateway to heaven.   [From the description of heaven in Revelation 21.] * * *
pearly nautilus n. See nautilus. * * *
pearmain [per′mān΄] n. 〚ME parmayn < OFr parmain, assoc. by folk etym. with Parma, Italy, but prob. < OFr parmaindre, to remain (< L permanere: see PERMANENT), from its ...
pear psylla n. A small plant louse, especially of the eastern United States and Pacific northwest, Psylla pyricola that is a destructive pest of pears, quinces, and similar ...
/pairz/, n. Peter, 1910-86, British tenor. * * *
Pears, Sir Peter
▪ English singer in full  Sir Peter Neville Luard Pears   born June 22, 1910, Farnham, Surrey, England died April 3, 1986, Aldeburgh, Suffolk       British tenor, a ...
Pears,Sir Peter Neville Luard
Pears (pîrz), Sir Peter Neville Luard. 1910-1986. British tenor noted for his reedy tone and vocal agility and as chief interpreter of the vocal works of composer Benjamin ...
Pearsall, Phyllis Isobel Gross
▪ 1997       British artist, writer, and publisher who created the popular London A-Z maps, exhaustive guides to the city's 23,000 streets, after having walked over ...
Pearse, Patrick Henry
▪ Irish poet and statesman Patrick also spelled in Irish  Pádraic  born November 10, 1879, Dublin, Ire. died May 3, 1916, Dublin  leader of Irish nationalism and Irish ...
/pear"seuhn/, n. 1. Drew (Andrew Russell Pearson), 1897-1969, U.S. journalist. 2. Karl, 1857-1936, English statistician. 3. Lester Bowles /bohlz/, 1897-1972, Canadian diplomat ...
Pearson, Drew
orig. Andrew Russell born Dec. 3, 1897, Evanston, Ill., U.S. died Sept. 1, 1969, Rockville, Md. U.S. newspaper columnist. Pearson taught industrial geography at the University ...
Pearson, Hesketh
▪ English writer born Feb. 20, 1887, Hawford, Worcestershire, Eng. died April 9, 1964, London       English actor, director, and biographer.       After ...
Pearson, Karl
▪ British mathematician born March 27, 1857, London, Eng. died April 27, 1936, Coldharbour, Surrey  British statistician, leading founder of the modern field of statistics, ...
Pearson, Lester B(owles)
born April 23, 1897, Toronto, Ont., Can. died Dec. 27, 1972, Ottawa, Ont. Prime minister of Canada (1963–68). He taught at the University of Toronto from 1924 until 1928, ...
Pearson, Lester B.
▪ prime minister of Canada in full  Lester Bowles Pearson  born April 23, 1897, Toronto, Ont., Can. died Dec. 27, 1972, Ottawa  politician, diplomat, and prime minister of ...
Pearson,Lester Bowles
Pear·son (pîrʹsən), Lester Bowles. 1897-1972. Canadian politician who served as prime minister (1963-1968). He won the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the negotiation ...
—peartly, adv. —peartness, n. /peart, pyert/, adj. Dial. lively; brisk; cheerful. [1590-1600; var. of PERT] * * *
pear thrips n. A minute leaf-eating insect (Taeniothrips inconsequens), originally native to Europe, that is a common pest of pear, maple, almond, and other trees in the eastern ...
/pair"wood'/, n. the hard, fine-grained, reddish wood of the pear tree, used for ornamentation, small articles of furniture, and musical instruments. [1910-15; PEAR + WOOD1] * * *
/pear"ee/, n. Robert Edwin, 1856-1920, U.S. admiral and arctic explorer. * * *
Peary Land
▪ region, Greenland       region, northern Greenland, extending about 200 miles (320 km) east and west along the Arctic Ocean, between Victoria Fjord and the Greenland ...
Peary, Harold
orig. Harrold Jese Pereira de Faria born July 25, 1908, San Leandro, Calif., U.S. died March 30, 1985, Torrance, Calif. U.S. actor. He created the colourful, arrogant ...
Peary, Robert E(dwin)
born May 6, 1856, Cresson, Pa., U.S. died Feb. 20, 1920, Washington, D.C. U.S. explorer. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1881 but was granted leaves of absence to pursue his Arctic ...
Peary, Robert Edwin
▪ American explorer born May 6, 1856, Cresson, Pa., U.S. died Feb. 20, 1920, Washington, D.C.  U.S. Arctic explorer usually credited with leading the first expedition to ...
Peary,Robert Edwin
Pea·ry (pîrʹē), Robert Edwin. 1856-1920. American naval officer and Arctic explorer who led the expedition credited with first reaching the North Pole (1909). This claim was ...
Peary Land A peninsula of northern Greenland extending into the Arctic Ocean. Robert E. Peary first explored it on his 1891-1892 expedition. * * *
—peasantlike, adj. /pez"euhnt/, n. 1. a member of a class of persons, as in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, who are small farmers or farm laborers of low social rank. 2. a ...
peasant proprietor
—peasant proprietorship. a peasant who owns land, esp. the land he or she tills. [1785-95] * * *
/pez"euhn tree/, n. 1. peasants collectively. 2. the status or character of a peasant. [1545-55; PEASANT + -RY] * * *
➡ feudalism * * *
Peasants' Revolt
Peasants' Revolt n. the first great popular rebellion in English history (1381), caused by the imposition of an unpopular poll tax: it lasted less than a month and failed as a ...
Peasants' War
(1524–25) Peasant uprising in Germany. Inspired by reforms brought by the Reformation, peasants in western and southern Germany invoked divine law to demand agrarian rights ...
Peasants’ Revolt
an incident in 1381 when the peasants (= poor farmers) of Kent and Essex marched to Canterbury and then to London to protest at their conditions of life and the harsh taxes they ...
—peaselike, adj. /peez/, n., pl. pease. Archaic. 1. a pea. 2. pl. of pea. [bef. 900; ME pese, OE peose, pise < LL pisa fem. sing. use of pl. of L pisum (neut.) < Gk píson pea, ...
pease pudding
Chiefly Brit. a pudding of strained split peas mixed with egg. [1750-60] * * *
Pease, Edward Reynolds
▪ British political scientist born Dec. 23, 1857, Henbury Hill, Dorset, Eng. died Jan. 5, 1955, Limpsfield, Surrey       English writer and one of the founders of the ...
/peez"kod'/, n. 1. the pod of the pea. 2. the front of a 16th-century doublet, quilted or stuffed to form a pointed bulge over the stomach and abdomen. [1325-75; ME pesecodde. ...
peasecod breastplate
Armor. a breastplate having a long central ridge terminating in a raised area overhanging the waistline. * * *
peas·en (pēʹzən) n. Archaic A plural of pease. * * *
/pee"shooh'teuhr/, n. a tube through which dried peas, beans, or small pellets are blown, used as a toy. Also called beanshooter. [1860-65; PEA1 + SHOOTER] * * *
pea soup n. 1. A purée or soup made of cooked dried peas. 2. Informal. Dense fog. * * *
peat1 /peet/, n. 1. a highly organic material found in marshy or damp regions, composed of partially decayed vegetable matter: it is cut and dried for use as fuel. 2. such ...
peat bog
a swamp in which peat has accumulated. [1765-75] * * *
peat moss
1. Also called bog moss. any moss, esp. of the genus Sphagnum, from which peat may form. 2. such moss after it has been dried, used chiefly as a mulch or seedbed, for ...
peat pot
a small flowerpot formed of peat in which a plant can be grown and transplanted without having to be removed. [1375-1425, late ME] * * *
peat bog n. See bog. * * *
/peet"land'/, n. an extensive tract of land where peat has formed. [1905-10; PEAT1 + -LAND] * * *
peat moss n. 1. Any of various mosses of the genus Sphagnum, growing in very wet places. 2. The partly carbonized remains of these plants, used as a mulch and plant food. * * *
/pee"tee/, adj., peatier, peatiest. of, pertaining to, resembling, or containing the substance peat. [1755-65; PEAT1 + -Y1] * * *
peau de soie
/poh' deuh swah", poh" deuh swah'/ a soft, satin-weave cloth of silk or rayon, grainy and having a dull luster, used to make dresses, coats, trimmings, etc. [1865-70; < F: lit., ...
peaude soie
peau de soie (pōʹ də-swäʹ) n. A soft silk fabric of satin weave having a dull finish.   [French : peau, skin + de, of + soie, silk.] * * *
/pee"vee/, n., pl. peaveys. a cant hook with a sharply pointed end, used in handling logs. [1865-70, Amer.; named after Joseph Peavey, its inventor] * * *
/pee"vee/, n., pl. peavies. peavey. * * *
/peb"euh/, n. See nine-banded armadillo. [1825-35; short for Tupi tatu-peba, equiv. to tatu armadillo + peba low] * * *
/peb"euhl/, n., v., pebbled, pebbling. n. 1. a small, rounded stone, esp. one worn smooth by the action of water. 2. Also called pebble leather. leather that has been given a ...
pebble chopper
also called  pebble tool        primordial cutting tool, the oldest type of tool made by forerunners of modern humans. The tool consists of a rounded stone struck a ...
pebble dash
—pebble-dash, pebble-dashed, adj. an exterior wall finish composed of mortar against which, while still wet, small pebbles have been thrown and pressed in. Cf. ...
pebble heater
a heat exchanger utilizing refractory pellets to store and give off heat. * * *
pebble mosaic
▪ decorative arts       type of mosaic work that uses natural pebbles arranged to form decorative or pictorial patterns. It was used only for pavements and was the ...
pebble plant n. See fig marigold. * * *
/peb"lee/, adj. 1. having or covered with pebbles: the pebbly beach at Nice. 2. (of a texture, design, etc.) having a granular or pebbled surface: shoes with a pebbly ...
/pay breen"/, n. an infectious disease of silkworms, characterized by a black spotting of the integument and by stunted growth, caused by the protozoan Nosema bomycis. [1865-70; ...
pec (pĕk) n. Slang A pectoral muscle. Often used in the plural: “Beneath those pecs there beats a heart” (Leon Wieseltier). * * * ▪ Kosovo formerly  Ipek , Albanian ...
/pi kahn", -kan", pee"kan/, n. 1. a tall hickory tree, Carya illinoinensis, of the southern U.S. and Mexico, cultivated for its oval, smooth-shelled, edible nuts: the state tree ...
pecan patty
Southeastern U.S. a praline made with pecans. * * *
—peccability, n. /pek"euh beuhl/, adj. liable to sin or error. [1595-1605; < ML peccabilis. See PECCAVI, -BLE] * * *
/pek'euh dil"oh/, n., pl. peccadilloes, peccadillos. a very minor or slight sin or offense; a trifling fault. [1585-95; < Sp pecadillo, dim. of pecado sin < L peccatum ...
peccancy [pek′ən sē] n. 〚LL(Ec) peccantia < peccare, to sin〛 1. sinfulness 2. pl. peccancies a sin * * * See peccant. * * *
—peccancy, peccantness, n. —peccantly, adv. /pek"euhnt/, adj. 1. sinning; guilty of a moral offense. 2. violating a rule, principle, or established practice; faulty; ...
See peccancy. * * *
/pek"euh ree/, n., pl. peccaries, (esp. collectively) peccary. any of several piglike hoofed mammals of the genus Tayassu, of North and South America, as T. tajacu (collared ...
/peuh kay'teuh foh"bee euh, -kah'-/, n. Psychiatry. an abnormal fear of sinning. [ < L peccat(um) sin + -o- + -PHOBIA] * * *
/pe kay"vuy, -vee, -kah"vee/, n., pl. peccavis. a confession of guilt or sin. [1500-10; < L: lit., I have sinned, perf. 1st person sing. of peccare to go wrong] * * *
pêche Melba
/peech, pesh/, pl. pêches Melba /pee"chiz, pesh/. See peach Melba. * * *
▪ people Byzantine  Patzinakoi , Latin  Bisseni , Hungarian  Besenyo        a seminomadic, apparently Turkic people who occupied the steppes north of the Black ...
/peuh cheng"geuh/; Russ. /pyi chyen"geuh/, n. a village in the NW Russian Federation, on the Arctic Ocean W of Murmansk: ice-free all year; ceded by Finland 1944. Finnish, ...
▪ French holding company       French state-owned, multinational holding company formed in December 1971 as Pechiney Ugine Kuhlmann SA after the merger of Pechiney SA, ...
/peuh chawr"euh, -chohr"euh/; Russ. /pyi chyaw"rddeuh/, n. a river in the NE Russian Federation in Europe, flowing from the Ural Mountains to the Arctic Ocean. 1110 mi. (1785 km) ...
Pechora River
River, northeastern Russia. It rises in the northern Ural Mountains and flows south, then west and north to enter the Barents Sea after a course of 1,124 mi (1,809 km). It is ...
Pechora Sea
Russian Pechorskoye More Sea, southeastern extension of the Barents Sea, north of European Russia. It is located between Kolguyev Island and the Yugorsky Peninsula. Although it ...
Pechstein, Claudia
▪ 2003       When the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, ended on Feb. 24, 2002, Claudia Pechstein of Germany had carved out a remarkable place for herself in the ...
Pechstein, Max
▪ German artist born December 31, 1881, Zwickau, Germany died June 29, 1955, Berlin       painter and printmaker, who was a leading member of the group of German ...
peck1 /pek/, n. 1. a dry measure of 8 quarts; the fourth part of a bushel, equal to 537.6 cubic inches (8.81 liters). 2. a container for measuring this quantity. Abbr.: pk, ...
Peck's Bad Boy
1. the mischievous boy in a series of newspaper stories and collected volumes by the American newspaperman and humorist George Wilbur Peck (1840-1916). 2. Usually, Peck's bad ...
Peck'sbad boy
Peck's bad boy (pĕks) n. A person whose bad behavior embarrasses and annoys others.   [After Peck's Bad Boy and His Pa, by George Wilbur Peck (1840-1916), American writer.] * ...
Peck, (Eldred) Gregory
born April 5, 1916, La Jolla, Calif., U.S. died June 12, 2003, Los Angeles, Calif. U.S. film actor. While a premed student at the University of California at Berkeley, he ...
Peck, Annie Smith
▪ American mountain climber born Oct. 19, 1850, Providence, R.I., U.S. died July 18, 1935, New York, N.Y.       American mountain climber whose numerous ascents—often ...
Peck, Gregory
▪ 2004       American actor (b. April 5, 1916, La Jolla, Calif.—d. June 12, 2003, Los Angeles, Calif.), was most noted for portraying morally decent, dignified, and ...
Peck, M Scott
▪ 2006       American psychiatrist (b. May 22, 1936, New York, N.Y.—d. Sept. 25, 2005, Warren, Conn.), wrote the best-selling book The Road Less Traveled (1978), which ...
Peck,Annie Smith
Peck (pĕk), Annie Smith. 1850-1935. American explorer and mountain climber. Her most notable ascents include the volcano Popocatépetl in Mexico (1897) and Huascarán in the ...
Peck, Gregory. Born 1916. American actor who is best known for his portrayals of strong and courageous characters. Among his films are Spellbound (1950) and To Kill a Mockingbird ...
/pek"euhr/, n. 1. a person or thing that pecks. 2. a bird's bill. 3. a woodpecker. 4. Slang (vulgar). penis. 5. Brit. Slang. one's spirits or courage. [1580-90; PECK2 + -ER1] * * ...
/pek"euhr wood'/, n. 1. Midland and Southern U.S. woodpecker. 2. Southern U.S. Slang (disparaging and offensive). See poor white. adj. 3. Southern U.S. small or insignificant: He ...
Peckham, Rufus Wheeler
▪ United States jurist born Nov. 8, 1838, Albany, N.Y., U.S. died Oct. 24, 1909, Altamont, N.Y.       associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1896 to ...
pecking order
1. Animal Behav. a dominance hierarchy, seen esp. in domestic poultry, that is maintained by one bird pecking another of lower status. 2. a sequence or hierarchy of authority in ...
peck·ing order (pĕkʹĭng) n. 1. A hierarchy among a group, as of people, classes, or nations: “The astronauts had developed a pecking order that was military in its ...
(1925–85) a US film director who was sometimes criticized for the amount of realistic violence shown in his films. These include Major Dundee (1965), The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs ...
Peckinpah, (David) Sam(uel)
born Feb. 21, 1925, Fresno, Calif., U.S. died Dec. 28, 1984, Inglewood, Calif. U.S. film director. He served in the U.S. Marines, studied drama at the University of Southern ...
Peckinpah, Sam
▪ American director byname of  David Samuel Peckinpah   born Feb. 21, 1925, Fresno, Calif., U.S. died Dec. 28, 1984, Inglewood, Calif.       American motion-picture ...
Peckinpah,David Samuel
Peck·in·pah (pĕkʹən-pô'), David Samuel. Known as “Sam.” 1924-1984. American film director best known for his morally complex Westerns, including Ride the High Country ...
/pek"ish/, adj. Chiefly Brit. Informal. 1. somewhat hungry: By noon we were feeling a bit peckish. 2. rather irritable: He's always a bit peckish after his nap. [1775-85; PECK2 + ...
/pek"snif/, n. a person of Pecksniffian attitudes or behavior: a virtuousness that only a pecksniff could aspire to. [1910-15; see PECKSNIFFIAN] * * *
—Pecksniffery, Pecksniffianism, Pecksniffism, n. /pek snif"ee euhn/, adj. (often l.c.) hypocritically and unctuously affecting benevolence or high moral principles. Also, ...
/pek"ee/, adj., peckier, peckiest. (of timber) spotted with fungi. [1840-50, Amer.; PECK2 + -Y1] * * *
pe·co·ri·no (pĕk'ə-rēʹnō) n. pl. pe·co·ri·nos An Italian cheese, especially Romano, made from ewe's milk.   [Italian, of ewes, pecorino, from pecora, ewe, sheep, ...
pecorino (cheese)
pecorino (cheese) or pecorino [pek΄ə rē′no] n. an Italian cheese made of sheep's milk; specif., such a cheese that is dry, sharp, and very hard * * *
/pay"keuhs, -kohs/, n. 1. a river flowing SE from N New Mexico through W Texas to the Rio Grande. 735 mi. (1183 km) long. 2. a town in W Texas, near the Pecos River. 12,855. * * ...
Pecos Bill
a legendary cowboy of the American frontier who performed such fabulous feats as digging the Rio Grande. * * * ▪ American folklore figure       in American folklore, ...
Pecos River
River, eastern New Mexico and western Texas, U.S. It rises in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico and flows southeast about 500 mi (800 km) across the Texas border. It ...
/peks/, n.pl. Informal. pectoral muscles. [1965-70; by shortening] * * * ▪ Hungary German  Fünfkirchen, medieval  Latin  Quinque Ecclesiae   (“Five Churches”), city ...
/paych/, n. a city in SW Hungary. 163,000. German, Fünfkirchen. * * * ▪ Hungary German  Fünfkirchen, medieval  Latin  Quinque Ecclesiae   (“Five Churches”), city ...
/pek"tays, -tayz/, n. Biochem. an enzyme occurring in various fruits and involved in the formation of pectic acid from pectin. [1865-70; PECT(IN) + -ASE] * * *
/pek"tayt/, n. Chem. a salt or ester of pectic acid. [1825-35; PECT(IC ACID) + -ATE2] * * *
/pek"teuhn/, n., pl. pectens, pectines /-teuh neez'/. 1. Zool., Anat. a. a comblike part or process. b. a pigmented vascular membrane with parallel folds suggesting the teeth of ...
/pek"tik/, adj. pertaining to pectin. [1825-35; < Gk pektikós congealing, equiv. to pekt(ós) congealed (verbid of pegnýnai to fix in, make solid) + -ikos -IC] * * *
pectic acid
Chem. any of several water-insoluble products of the hydrolysis of pectin esters. [1825-35] * * *
pec·tic acid (pĕkʹtĭk) n. A transparent gelatinous acid, C17H24O16, insoluble in water, formed by the hydrolysis of certain esters of pectin.   [French pectique, related to ...
—pectinaceous /pek'teuh nay"sheuhs/, pectinous, adj. /pek"tin/, n. Biochem. a white, amorphous, colloidal carbohydrate of high molecular weight occurring in ripe fruits, esp. ...
—pectinately, adv. —pectination, n. /pek"teuh nayt'/, adj. formed into or having closely parallel, toothlike projections; comblike. Also, pectinated. [1785-95; < L pectinatus ...
See pectinate. * * *
pec·ti·nes (pĕkʹtə-nēz') n. A plural of pecten. * * *
pec·ti·nes·ter·ase (pĕk'tə-nĕsʹtə-rās', -rāz') n. An enzyme found in certain plants, bacteria, and fungi that catalyzes the hydrolysis of pectin to pectic acid and ...
/pek tin"euh jeuhn, -jen'/, n. Biochem. protopectin. [PECTIN + -o- + -GEN] * * *
/pek"teuh nohs'/, n. Chem. arabinose. Also called pectin sugar. [PECTIN + -OSE2] * * *
See pectic. * * *
—pectizable, adj. —pectization, n. /pek"tuyz/, v.t., v.i., pectized, pectizing. to change into a jelly; jellify; gel; gelatinize; gelatinate. Also, esp. Brit., ...
/pek"teuh luyt'/, n. a mineral, hydrous calcium sodium silicate, usually occurring in radiating groups of crystals in rock cavities. [1820-30; < Gk pektó(s) made solid (see ...
—pectorally, adv. /pek"teuhr euhl/, adj. 1. of, in, on, or pertaining to the chest or breast; thoracic. 2. worn on the breast or chest. 3. proceeding from the heart or inner ...
pectoral cross
Eccles. a cross worn on the breast by various prelates, as a designation of office. [1720-30] * * *
pectoral fin
(in fishes) either of a pair of fins usually situated behind the head, one on each side, and corresponding to the forelimbs of higher vertebrates. See illus. under ...
pectoral girdle
1. (in vertebrates) a bony or cartilaginous arch supporting the forelimbs. 2. Also called shoulder girdle. (in humans) the bony arch formed by the clavicles, or collarbones, and ...
pectoral sandpiper
an American sandpiper, Calidris melanotos, the male of which, when courting, inflates its chest conspicuously. [1820-30, Amer.] * * *
pectoral arch n. See pectoral girdle. * * *
pectoral fin n. Either of the anterior pair of fins attached to the pectoral girdle of fishes, corresponding to the forelimbs of higher vertebrates. * * *
pectoral girdle n. A bony or cartilaginous structure in vertebrates, attached to and supporting the forelimbs or anterior fins. Also called pectoral arch. * * *
/pek'teuh ral"is, -ray"lis, -rah"-/, n., pl. pectorales /-ral"eez, -ray"leez, -rah"-/. Anat. either of two muscles on each side of the upper and anterior part of the thorax, the ...
pectoralis muscle
▪ anatomy       any of the muscles that connect the front walls of the chest with the bones of the upper arm and shoulder. There are two such muscles on each side of the ...
pectoral sandpiper n. A New World sandpiper (Calidris melanotos) with brownish streaks on the upper part of the breast. The male inflates its breast during courtship. * * *
/pek"tohs/, n. Biochem. protopectin. [1855-60; PECT(IC) + -OSE2] * * *
/pek"teuhs/, adj. Biochem. of, pertaining to, or consisting of pectin or protopectin. [1860-65; pect- (repr. PECTIC, PECTIN, PECTOSE) + -OUS] * * *
pectus excavatum
▪ birth defect       a chest deformity caused by depression of the breastbone, or sternum. Pectus excavatum is generally not noticeable at birth but becomes more ...
—peculation, n. —peculator, n. /pek"yeuh layt'/, v.t., v.i., peculated, peculating. to steal or take dishonestly (money, esp. public funds, or property entrusted to one's ...
See peculate. * * *
See peculation. * * *
—peculiarly, adv. /pi kyoohl"yeuhr/, adj. 1. strange; queer; odd: peculiar happenings. 2. uncommon; unusual: the peculiar hobby of stuffing and mounting bats. 3. distinctive in ...
peculiar institution
black slavery in the southern U.S. before the Civil War. [1835-45, Amer.] * * *
peculiar people
1. the Jews as being God's chosen people. Deut. 14:2. 2. a name adopted by certain fundamentalist Christian sects, signifying their refusal to conform to any rule of conduct that ...
/pi kyoo'lee ar"i tee, -kyoohl yar"-/, n., pl. peculiarities. 1. a trait, manner, characteristic, or habit that is odd or unusual. 2. oddity; singularity; eccentricity. 3. a ...
/pi kyoohl"yeuh ruyz'/, v.t., peculiarized, peculiarizing. to make peculiar, unusual, distinguished, etc. Also, esp. Brit., peculiarise. [1615-25; PECULIAR + -IZE] * * *
See peculiar. * * *
—pecuniarily /pi kyooh'nee air"i lee/, adv. /pi kyooh"nee er'ee/, adj. 1. of or pertaining to money: pecuniary difficulties. 2. consisting of or given or exacted in money or ...
pedestrian. [by shortening] * * *
ped-1 var. of pedo-1 before a vowel: pedagogic. Also, paed-. ped-2 var. of pedi- before a vowel. ped-3 var. of pedo-2 before a vowel: pedalfer. * * *
pedestrian crossing. * * *
1. pedal. 2. pedestal. * * *
Doctor of Pedagogy. * * *

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