Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “preen”

See all translations

preen

verb uk   /priːn/ us  

preen verb (TIDY)

[I or T] If a bird preens or preens itself, it cleans and arranges its feathers using its beak. [I or T] disapproving to spend time making yourself look attractive: Roald always spends ages preening (himself) before he goes out.

preen verb (FEEL PROUD)

preen yourself to feel very proud or satisfied with yourself because of an action or quality: The government is publicly preening itself on the latest trade figures. The company preened itself for having taken on so many new employees last year.
(Definition of preen from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of preen?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “preen” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

make believe

believing or imagining things that appear to be attractive or exciting, but are not real

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

showrooming noun

February 23, 2015
the activity of examining a product in a physical store and then making the purchase with an online retailer Amazon’s new smartphone is specifically designed to make showrooming fast and easy.

Read More