Origin of peter; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps
- a masculine name: dim. Pete: equiv. L. Petrus, Fr. Pierre, It. Pietro, Sp. Pedro, Russ. Pyotr
- (original name Simon) (died 64?); one of the twelve Apostles, a fisherman, to whom the Letters of Peter are ascribed: considered the first pope: his day is June 29: also Simon Peter or Saint Peter
- either of the two Letters of Peter: abbrev. Pe, Pet
Origin of PeterMiddle English ; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin Petrus ; from Classical Greek Petros (; from petros, stone, petra, rock) used as translated, translation of Aramaic kēphā, rock
rob Peter to pay Paul
- 1672-1725; czar of Russia (1682-1725): called the Great
- 1923-70; king of Yugoslavia (1934-45): son of Alexander I
- 1728-62; czar of Russia (1762): assassinated; succeeded by his wife, Catherine II
intransitive verbpe·tered, pe·ter·ing, pe·ters
Origin of peterOrigin unknown.
Origin of peterFrom the name Peter.
, Saint Died c. AD 67.
- (hypocoristic slang) The penis.
US, 1902, presumably from shared initial pe-.
(third-person singular simple present peters, present participle petering, simple past and past participle petered)
- (only used in the phrase peter out) To dwindle; to trail off; to diminish to nothing
Originally used independently, today only used in the derived phrase peter out.
1812, US miners’ slang, Unknown. Various speculative etymologies have been suggested. One suggestion is that it comes from peter being an abbreviation of saltpeter, the key ingredient in gunpowder – when a mine was exhausted, it was “petered”. Other derivations are from St. Peter (from sense of “rock”), or French péter (“to fart”).
- given name variants: Peers, Percy, Pete, Petey, Pierce, Piers
- feminine forms: Peta, Petra
From Latin Petrus, from Ancient Greek Πέτρος (Petros), from πέτρος (petros, “stone, rock”), related to πέτρα (petra)