preen oneself vs. plume oneself

  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hi everyone,
    Is there a difference in usage between "to preen oneself/itself" and "to plume oneself/itself"?
    Thanks for your help!

    C.
    Yes, there is, I think.

    To plume oneself is to boast, to behave in a conceited manner.

    To preen oneself is to smarten up, to brush one's clothes, to set the feather in one's cap at just the right angle - there are strong suggestions of vanity in the expression.
     
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