Meaning of PEEL in English


I. peel 1 /piːl/ BrE AmE verb

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: pilare 'to remove the hair from' , from pilus 'hair' ]

1 . [transitive] to remove the skin from fruit or vegetables:

Peel and dice the potatoes.

2 . [intransitive] if skin, paper, or paint peels, it comes off, usually in small pieces

peel from/off

The paper was peeling from the wall.

New skin grows, and the damaged skin peels off.

3 . [intransitive] to lose an outer layer or surface:

The walls were peeling from the damp.

4 . [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to remove the outer layer from something

peel something away/off/back

Peel away the waxed paper from the bottom of the cake.

⇨ keep your eyes peeled at ↑ eye 1 (18)

• • •


▪ cut to divide something into two or more pieces, especially using a knife or ↑ scissors :

Do you want me to cut the cake?


He cut off the lower branches.

▪ snip to quickly cut something, especially using ↑ scissors :

I snipped the label off.


The hairdresser snipped away at her hair.

▪ slit to make a long narrow cut through something, especially using a knife:

He slit the envelope open with a penknife.


She slit through the plastic covering.

▪ slash to cut something quickly and violently with a knife, making a long thin cut:

Someone had slashed the tyres on his car.


He tried to slash his wrists.

▪ saw to cut wood, using a ↑ saw (=a tool with a row of sharp points) :

Saw the wood to the correct length.

▪ chop to cut wood, vegetables, or meat into pieces:

Bill was outside chopping up firewood with an axe.


They chopped down the old tree.


finely chopped onion

▪ slice to cut bread, meat, or vegetables into thin pieces:

I’ll slice the cucumber.


Slice the bread thinly.

▪ dice to cut vegetables or meat into small square pieces:

First dice the apple into cubes.

▪ grate to cut cheese or a hard vegetable by rubbing it against a special tool:

Grate the cheese and sprinkle it over the vegetables.

▪ peel to cut the outside part off something such as a potato or apple:

I peeled the potatoes and put them in a saucepan.

▪ carve to cut thin pieces from a large piece of meat:

Uncle Ray carved the turkey.

▪ mow to cut the grass in a garden, park etc:

A gardener was mowing the lawn.

▪ trim ( also clip ) to cut a small amount off something, especially to make it look neater:

He was trimming his beard.


Trim the excess fat off the meat.

peel off phrasal verb

1 . peel something ↔ off to take your clothes off:

Tom peeled off his wet T-shirt and shorts.

2 . peel off $20/£50 etc informal to take a piece of paper money from the top of a pile of paper money:

Manville peeled off a 20, and pressed it into the man’s hand.

3 . to leave a moving group of vehicles, aircraft etc and go in a different direction:

Two motorcycles peeled off from the line.

II. peel 2 BrE AmE noun [uncountable and countable]

the skin of some fruits and vegetables, especially the thick skin of fruits such as oranges, which you do not eat ⇨ rind , zest :

orange peel

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.