English

Definition of preen verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    preen

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//priːn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//priːn//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they preen
    BrE BrE//priːn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//priːn//
     
    he / she / it preens
    BrE BrE//priːnz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//priːnz//
     
    past simple preened
    BrE BrE//priːnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//priːnd//
     
    past participle preened
    BrE BrE//priːnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//priːnd//
     
    -ing form preening
    BrE BrE//ˈpriːnɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpriːnɪŋ//
     
    Proud
     
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] preen (yourself) (usually disapproving) to spend a lot of time making yourself look attractive and then admiring your appearance Will you stop preening yourself in front of the mirror?
  2. 2[transitive] preen yourself (on something) (usually disapproving) to feel very pleased with yourself about something and show other people how pleased you are See related entries: Proud
  3. 3[intransitive, transitive] preen (itself) (of a bird) to clean itself or make its feathers smooth with its beak
  4. Word Origin late Middle English: apparently a variant of obsolete prune (based on Latin ungere ‘anoint’), in the same sense, associated with Scots and northern English dialect preen ‘pierce, pin’ (because of the “pricking” action of the bird's beak).
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: preen