- Preen is defined as to take great care in cleaning oneself or another.
- An example of preen is a bird cleaning its feathers.
- An example of preen is a woman carefully plucking her eyebrows.
- to clean and trim (the feathers) with the beak: said of birds
- to make (oneself) trim; dress up or adorn (oneself)
- to show satisfaction with or vanity in (oneself)
Origin: Middle English preynen, altered (infl. by preonen, to prick with a pin from preon from OE, a pin) from proinen, to prune
- preener noun
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
verb preened, preen·ing, preens verb, transitive
- a. To smooth or clean (feathers) with the beak or bill.b. To trim or clean (fur) with the tongue, as cats do.
- To dress or groom (oneself) with elaborate care; primp.
- To take pride or satisfaction in (oneself); gloat.
- To dress up; primp.
- To swell with pride; gloat or exult.
Origin: Middle English proinen, preinen, blend of Old French proignier, to prune; see prune2, and Old French poroindre, to anoint before (por-, before from Latin prō-; see pro-1 + oindre, to anoint from Latin unguere).
- preenˈer noun