A Word A Day : Preen
HAPPY & PROSPEROUS
NEW YEAR : 2008
Wednesday, 2nd January 2008 : Today's Word is ...
( Verb )
( past and past participle : preened
present participle : preening
3rd person present singular : preens )
Pronunciation : pr-een
1. to clean, smooth, or arrange the feathers with the beak ( refers to birds )
2. to clean and smooth the fur by licking it ( refers to a furred mammal )
3. to spend a long or excessive time attending to personal appearance, especially making small finishing touches to the hair, the face, or clothes
4. to feel excessively self-satisfied and display that feeling by gloating
5. to be exultant or proud
15th century - Probably - Old French proignier - to prune
advertise, aggrandize, attract attention, blow, bluster, bullshit, bully, crow, exaggerate, exult, fake, flatter oneself, flaunt, flourish, gasconade, gloat, glory, grandstand, hug oneself, jive, prate, preen, psych, puff, shoot, shovel, show off, showboat, shuck, sling, sound off, strut, swagger, talk big, triumph, vapor
be modest, downplay, eat humble pie
• The king preened
himself in his elaborate ceremonial robes.
• The peacock preened
itself on the lawn.
• He preened
himself on having been graduated with honors.
• No amount of careful preening
will compensate for poor posture.
• I watched the heron preen
its feathers as it stood in the pond.
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