\ \ [14] Preen is generally taken to be an alteration of prunecut branches’, under the influence of another now obsolete verb preenpierce’, a descendant of the Old English noun prēonpin’ (the notion presumably being of a bird ‘piercing’ its feathers with its beak when cleaning them).
\ \ Cf.PRUNE

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Preen — bezeichnet: Preen (Adelsgeschlecht), mecklenburgisches Adelsgeschlecht Preen ist der Nachname von: Hugo von Preen (1854−1941), österreichischer Maler, Archäologe und Heimatforscher Otto von Preen (1579−1634), deutscher Jurist und Hofbeamter… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Preen — Preen, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Preened}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Preening}.] [See {Preen}, n.; or cf. {Prune}.] 1. To dress with, or as with, a preen; to trim or dress with the beak, as the feathers; said of birds. Derham. [1913 Webster] 2. To trim up, as… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Preen — Preen, n. [AS. pre[ o]n a clasp, bodkin; akin to D. priem punch, bodkin, awl, G. pfriem, Icel. prj[=o]nn a knitting needle, pin, Dan. preen a bodkin, punch.] A forked tool used by clothiers in dressing cloth. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • preen — [pri:n] v [I and T] [Date: 1400 1500; Origin: Probably from Old French proignier; PRUNE1] 1.) if a bird preens or preens itself, it cleans itself and makes its feathers smooth using its beak 2.) to spend time making yourself look tidier and more… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Preen — Preen, v. i. To dress up neatly and smartly; to make oneself well groomed and well dressed. [PJC] 2. To feel proud of one s achievement; to swell or gloat. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • preen — ► VERB 1) (of a bird) tidy and clean its feathers with its beak. 2) devote effort to making oneself look attractive. 3) (preen oneself) congratulate or pride oneself. ORIGIN probably related to obsolete prune, from Latin ungere anoint …   English terms dictionary

  • preen — [ prin ] verb intransitive or transitive 1. ) if a bird or animal preens or preens itself, it cleans and arrange its feathers or fur with its beak or tongue 2. ) to spend a lot of time trying to make yourself look more attractive by arranging… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • preen — to trim, to dress up, late 14c., perhaps a variation of prune (v.), or from O.Fr. poroindre anoint before, and O.Fr. proignier round off, prune. O.E. preon meant to pin, and probably influenced this word. Due to the popularity of falconry, words… …   Etymology dictionary

  • preen — plume, *pride, pique Analogous words: congratulate, *felicitate …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • preen — [v] admire and clean oneself beautify, clean, doll up, groom, prettify, pretty, primp, prink, spruce up, tidy; concept 161 …   New thesaurus

  • preen — [prēn] vt. [ME preynen, altered (infl. by preonen, to prick with a pin < preon < OE, a pin) < proinen, to PRUNE3] 1. to clean and trim (the feathers) with the beak: said of birds 2. to make (oneself) trim; dress up or adorn (oneself) 3.… …   English World dictionary

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