Definitions of preen

  1. pride or congratulate ( oneself) for an achievement
  2. dress or groom with elaborate care; " She likes to dress when going to the opera"
  3. clean with one's bill, of birds
  4. clean with one's bill; " The birds preened"
  5. A forked tool used by clothiers in dressing cloth.
  6. To dress with, or as with, a preen; to trim or dress with the beak, as the feathers; -- said of birds.
  7. To trim up, as trees.
  8. To cleanse, trim, and smooth with the beak, as a bird its plumage; to dress ( oneself) up.
  9. To compose and arrange as birds do their feathers.
  10. A forked instrument used by cloth- dressers.
  11. To clean, compose, and dress the feathers, as birds do.
  12. A forked instrument used in dressing cloth.
  13. To clean as with a preen,- said of birds that dress and oil their feathers with their beak.

Usage examples for preen

  1. To be sure, his feathers were a little disheveled, for he had been too busy with Pepita and the fledglings to take time to preen them, but apparently he was unharmed by the perils through which he had passed, and there was as saucy a tilt to his as ever. – Chico: the Story of a Homing Pigeon by Lucy M. Blanchard
  2. The Judge returned to the house; Mattie Tiffany settled herself on the piazza with the preen and flutter of a female thing about to be wooed. – The Readjustment by Will Irwin
  3. The Quaker maidens who caught sight of Pepeeta were visibly excited and began to preen themselves as turtle doves might have done if a bird of paradise had suddenly flashed among them. – The Redemption of David Corson by Charles Frederic Goss
  4. Their favorites, though, were the beautiful scarlet flamingoes, with their slender legs, and their long, graceful necks, and whose great employment seemed to be to stand quiet in the water, where it was only two or three inches deep, and to preen their glossy red feathers. – On the Pampas by G. A. Henty
  5. While Dolly Preen sighed and thought the dark Italian very handsome. – Lady Maude's Mania by George Manville Fenn
  6. Why, they know when I praise them, and preen themselves. – The Golden Silence by C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson
  7. Then she ran down the path through the other door and then into the orchard, and when she stood and looked up there was the tree on the other side of the wall, and there was the robin just finishing his song and beginning to preen his feathers with his beak. – The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  8. Between his drummings he would preen his plumage and listen as if for the response of the female, or for the drum of some rival. – A Year in the Fields by John Burroughs
  9. The bird stretched its wings, shook the ash from its tail, and began to preen itself. – David and the Phoenix by Edward Ormondroyd
  10. I preen myself, said he, that I'm still there with the huckleberries. – Lefty Locke Pitcher-Manager by Burt L. Standish
  11. Even in the house, as he sat by the fire in the evening, it would mount on his lap, nestle its head in his bosom, and preen his hair with its beak, as it was wont to do its own feathers. – Stories of Animal Sagacity by W.H.G. Kingston
  12. Electron knew all of that, but he still couldn't quite believe that Phoenix had gone so far as to strut and preen like a show pony for the New York Times. – Underground by Suelette Dreyfus
  13. Steve's attention was taken now, and he eagerly scanned the action of the great Polar bear, which appeared to be in quite a playful mood, and had another roll and gambol on the ice before beginning to preen and clean its long, soft, whitish fur again as if it were feathers. – Steve Young by George Manville Fenn
  14. It is these on which they preen themselves, these by which they judge and condemn others. – Erasmus and the Age of Reformation by Johan Huizinga
  15. And furthermore- Do hush, Billy; look who's coming, Jessie interrupted him, and there before my eyes I saw my entire group of friends begin to preen themselves into new beings. – The Heart's Kingdom by Maria Thompson Daviess
  16. Finding herself suddenly in the lead and successful, Huldah began to preen her feathers a bit. – Judith of the Cumberlands by Alice MacGowan
  17. Miss Preen is right there. – Lady Maude's Mania by George Manville Fenn
  18. For the fifteen minutes or so that I remained, his mate was perched in another branch of the same tree, not once shifting her position, and doing nothing whatever except to preen her feathers a little. – Birds in the Bush by Bradford Torrey
  19. She never had so much as to preen a feather. – Sweethearts at Home by S. R. Crockett