AskDefine | Define peel

Dictionary Definition



1 the tissue forming the hard outer layer (of e.g. a fruit) [syn: skin, rind]
2 British politician (1788-1850) [syn: Robert Peel, Sir Robert Peel]
3 the rind of a fruit or vegetable [syn: skin]


1 strip the skin off; "pare apples" [syn: skin, pare]
2 come off in flakes or thin small pieces; "The paint in my house is peeling off" [syn: peel off, flake off, flake]
3 get undressed; "please don't undress in front of everybody!"; "She strips in front of strangers every night for a living" [syn: undress, discase, uncase, unclothe, strip, strip down, disrobe] [ant: dress, dress]

User Contributed Dictionary

see peal




Etymology 1

Alteration of pill (verb & noun), perhaps under the influence of peler, piller.


  1. archaic transitive To plunder; to pillage, rob.
  2. To remove the skin or outer covering of.
    I sat by my sister's bed, peeling oranges for her.
  3. To remove from the outer or top layer of.
    I peeled the skin from an orange and ate it hungrily.
    We peeled the old wallpaper off in strips where it was hanging loose.
  4. To become detached, come away, especially in flakes or strips; to shed skin in such a way.
    I had been out in the sun too long, and my nose was starting to peel.
  5. To remove one's clothing.
    The children peeled by the side of the lake and jumped in.
  6. To move, separate (off or away)
    The scrum-half peeled off and made for the touchlines.
remove skin
Derived terms


  1. The skin or outer layer of a fruit, vegetable etc.
  2. The action of peeling away from a formation.
  3. A cosmetic preparation designed to remove dead skin or exfoliate.
Derived terms
skin of a fruit
(Rugby football) The action of peeling away from a formation
cosmetic preparation

Etymology 2

and pel (cf. modern French pieu), from palus.


  1. A stake.
  2. A fence made of stakes; a stockade.
  3. A small tower, fort, or castle; a keep.
Derived terms

Etymology 3

From pele (cf. modern pelle), from pala, from the base of plangere.


  1. A shovel or similar instrument, now especially a pole with a flat disc at the end used for removing loaves of bread from a baker's oven.
  2. A T-shaped implement used by printers and bookbinders for hanging wet sheets of paper on lines or poles to dry.
  3. archaic US The blade of an oar.
spadelike implement for removing loaves from an oven

Etymology 4

Origin unknown.


  1. An equal or match; a draw.
  2. A takeout which removes a stone from play as well as the delivered stone.

Etymology 5

Named from Walter H. Peel, a noted 19th-century croquet player.


  1. In the context of "croquet": To send through a hoop (of a ball other than one's own).

Etymology 6



  1. : to sound loudly.
    • 1825 June 25, "My Village Bells", in The Circulator of Useful Knowledge, Literature, Amusement, and General Information number XXVI, available in, 1825, The Circulator of Useful Amusement, Literature, Science, and General Information, page 401,
      Oh ! still for me let merry bells peel out their holy chime;
    • 1901 January 1, "Twentieth Century's Triumphant Entry", The New York Times, page 1,
      The lights flashed, the crowds sang,... bells peeled, bombs thundered,... and the new Century made its triumphant entry.
    • 2006, Miles Richardson, Being-In-Christ and Putting Death in Its Place, Louisiana State University Press, ISBN 0807132047, pages 230–231,
      As the tiny Virgin... approaches one of the barrio churches, bells peel vigorously, a brass band launches into a fast-paced tune, and large rockets zoom... .

Extensive Definition

Peel can refer to:




peel in German: Peel
peel in French: Peel
peel in Dutch: Peel
peel in Norwegian: Peel

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abscind, acropolis, amputate, annihilate, ban, bar, bark, bastion, beachhead, blockhouse, bob, bran, bridgehead, bunker, capsule, case, castle, chaff, citadel, clip, coat, coating, collop, cork, corn shuck, cornhusk, cortex, covering, crop, cull, cut, cut away, cut off, cut out, deal, decorticate, defoliate, denude, descale, desquamate, disk, dismember, disrobe, dock, donjon, draw and quarter, eliminate, enucleate, epicarp, eradicate, except, excise, exclude, excoriate, exfoliate, extinguish, extirpate, fasthold, fastness, feuille, film, flake off, flap, flay, foil, fold, fort, fortress, garrison, garrison house, hold, hull, husk, isolate, jacket, keep, knock off, lacerate, lamella, lamina, laminated glass, laminated wood, lap, leaf, lop, maim, mangle, martello, martello tower, membrane, mote, motte, mutilate, nip, palea, pane, panel, pare, patina, peel off, peel tower, peeling, pellicle, phellum, pick out, pick to pieces, pillbox, plait, plank, plate, plating, ply, plywood, pod, post, prune, pull apart, rasher, rath, rind, root out, rule out, safehold, safety glass, scale, scalp, scum, set apart, set aside, shave, shear, sheet, shell, shred, shuck, skin, slab, slat, slice, stamp out, strike off, strip, strip off, strong point, stronghold, table, tablet, take apart, take off, take out, tear apart, tear to pieces, tear to tatters, tower, tower of strength, truncate, uncovered, undress, veneer, wafer, ward, wipe out
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