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Definition of "preen" [preen]

  • To smooth or clean (feathers) with the beak or bill. (verb-transitive)
  • To trim or clean (fur) with the tongue, as cats do. (verb-transitive)
  • To dress or groom (oneself) with elaborate care; primp. (verb-transitive)
  • To take pride or satisfaction in (oneself); gloat. (verb-transitive)
  • To dress up; primp. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "preen" in a sentence
  • "Continuing in "preen mode" (we don't do it very often), we note, however, that The Sunday Telegraph – like the Telegraph and Argus the day before – failed to pick up on the EU link, and thus failed to remind us that the bulk of the petty restrictions stem from the implementation of EU law on landfill and recycling."
  • "When birds "preen" and try to remove the oil, they can swallow it and be poisoned."
  • "I don't cite Ernesto to brag well, maybe to "preen"."