preen

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v preen dress or groom with elaborate care "She likes to dress when going to the opera"
    • v preen pride or congratulate (oneself) for an achievement
    • v preen clean with one's bill "The birds preened"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Preen A forked tool used by clothiers in dressing cloth.
    • Preen To dress (oneself) carefully or stylishly; to primp.
    • Preen To dress with, or as with, a preen; to trim or dress with the beak, as the feathers; -- said of birds.
    • Preen To pride (oneself) on one's accomplishments; to congratulate (oneself).
    • Preen To trim up, as trees.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n preen A pin.
    • n preen A bodkin; a brooch.
    • n preen A forked instrument used by clothiers in dressing cloth.
    • preen To pin; fasten.
    • preen To prune or trim, as a tree.
    • preen To trim, dress, or fix with the beak, as a bird its plumage; plume. This habit is characteristic of birds, especially of water-fowl, the feathers being oiled with the unctuous substance of the rumpgland, as well as set in order. See elæodochon.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Preen prēn to compose and arrange as birds do their feathers.
    • n Preen prēn (Scot.) a pin
    • v.t Preen to fasten
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. preón, a clasp, bodkin; akin to D. priem, punch, bodkin, awl, G. pfriem, Icel. prjōnn, a knitting needle, pin, Dan. preen, a bodkin, punch

Usage

In literature:

Nothing stirred, save their lazily preening decoys.
"Blue-Bird Weather" by Robert W. Chambers
He must have been proud as a peacock strutting in the sun preening its feathers.
"Blue Ridge Country" by Jean Thomas
She preens and dries them and keeps them close under her for days.
"Children's Literature" by Charles Madison Curry
He repeats his strain six times a minute, often preening his plumage in the intervals.
"Under the Maples" by John Burroughs
The parrot sat, preening her plumage, on Long John's shoulder.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson" by Robert Louis Stevenson
The crows preened their funereal plumage and waited, full of bright-eyed expectancy.
"Finn The Wolfhound" by A. J. Dawson
When a person of this type does take great pains with his clothes it is always for a purpose, and not because he enjoys preening himself.
"How to Analyze People on Sight" by Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict
She quite preened and tossed her head.
"The Corner House Girls Growing Up" by Grace Brooks Hill
At this very moment I should have been preening before the glass.
"A Question of Marriage" by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
Those that're sober are too busy preening themselves for voting on the winning side.
"Astounding Stories, August, 1931" by Various
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In poetry:

"O, bairns, O, bairns," auld Ledgie began,
"I got a fricht yestreen,
That made my heart loup up to my mouth,
An' my hair stan' up like a preen.
"Ledgie Cooper" by Alexander Anderson
And the sleeping doves awoke,
thinking that it was already the hour of dawn,
and having preened their feathers
they flew away into the rosy air.
"Anhelli - Chapter 6" by Juliusz Slowacki
Leddy.
"Oh! saftly, gudeman, I think ye're gane mad;
I ha'e the heart to preen on your cockaud;
The Prince, as ye ca' him, will never succeed;
Ye'll lose your estate, and may be your head!"
"Ye'll Mount, Gudeman" by Carolina Oliphant
He stepped in, reached, and seized it,
And, preening, had released it
But that a thought of Holy Writ occurred,
And Signs Divine ere battle, till it seemed him Heaven had pleased it
As guide to send the bird.
"The Alarm" by Thomas Hardy
Noo, yer way wi' the Warl's jist tae let her alane,
Ne'er fash her wi' yammerin'—ne'er mak' ye a mane—
Ne'er haud up yersel' an' yer sairs tae her een—
She's ower thrang wi' hersel', an' she cares na a preen!
"The Way of The Warl'" by Janet Hamilton
Noo, whisht, my wee, wee mannie, ye've got an awfu' scaur,
But, gin your face an' han's were washed, ye're no a preen the waur;
Noo, whisht, an' kiss your mammy, ye're no sae much to blame,
For mony an aulder ane than you has dune the very same.
"The Steerin' Wee Laddie" by Alexander Anderson

In news:

Paul Abravaya, a photographer, nature guide, and biologist from the Los Angeles area, captured this remarkable image of a preening Violet-crowned Woodnymph (Thalurania colombica), a spectacular tropical hummingbird.
I was prepared, sorta, kinda, to defend Barack Obama's debate performance until I heard Obama adviser David Axelrod on television preening about how the president had spoken to viewers like adults.
WASHINGTON — I was prepared, sorta, kinda, to defend Barack Obama's debate performance until I heard Obama adviser David Axelrod on television preening about how the president had spoken to viewers like adults.
A little preening never hurt anyone, correct .
Monsoon No Match for Celebrity Hair at Preen.
If Becki Newton's appearance was all you had to go on, you'd never know we had to fight our way through a hurricane this morning to get to Preen.
Obama is ' posing and preening,' not resolving issues as president.
FIle photo Gov Chris Christie, shown in this file photo told Kentucky Republicans on Saturday that President Barack Obama was " posing and preening" instead of working to resolve pressing issues facing the country.
New Pre- fall Collections: The Row, Givenchy, Preen, and More.
The hawks deliver freshly killed rats to each other and preen and have mean love affairs.
There was a time when a man went through life without busying himself with preening and primping.
WHAT SHE WORE Bilson attended the Fun Size premiere in a red leopard print Preen dress and suede heels.
She couldn't stop preening and primping us.
From left, Marc by Marc, Preen, Proenza Schouler.
Makeup tricks from the spring 2009 Preen show.
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In science:

Conversely, resting, preening and agonistic behaviour of hens towards ducklings increased.
Post-hatching parental care behaviour and hormonal status in a precocial bird
The time spent by the hen resting, preening and being more than 1 m from ducklings as well as the frequency of ducklings pecked by the female increased by 3, 3, 6 and 20 fold respectively during the post-hatching period (Figs. 2a-d).
Post-hatching parental care behaviour and hormonal status in a precocial bird
It was negatively correlated with sleeping, preening, distance (>1 m) and female pecking (variable loads between -0.42 and -0.25), and positively correlated with contact, female leadership and following (variable loads between 0.34 and 0.40).
Post-hatching parental care behaviour and hormonal status in a precocial bird
This was at the expense of the time allocated to self-maintenance behaviours such as preening and resting.
Post-hatching parental care behaviour and hormonal status in a precocial bird
Changes in mean (± SE) sleeping (a), preening (b) and distance > 1m (c) durations, and in pecking frequency (d) of hen mallards between hatching and fledging.
Post-hatching parental care behaviour and hormonal status in a precocial bird
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