Peer vs Peek at

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Senior Member
Brazilian Portuguese
Hello amigos!:)

The mayor peered/peeked at the guests during the Town ball.

Do such verbs imply the same idea in the context? Could anyone point me out the difference in case it exists?


  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    To me, "peek" implies that he is at least partially hidden from the guests, behind a curtain or beyond a doorway. One can "peer" at people who are right in front of them, which would mean staring at them intently or in a manner betraying intrigue or curiosity.


    Senior Member
    I agree. Also, to me, "peer" involves a period of time. "He quickly peered at the guests" sounds very odd, if not oxymoronic.

    A peek, on the other hand, can be very brief; in fact, I think it's usually very brief. It sounds odd to me to say, "He took a long, slow peek at the guests". :)
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