peel off

peel off


  1. designed to be peeled off from a backing or large sheet, usually of paper, before use; readied for use by peeling off: peel-off labels.

verb (used with object)

  1. to strip (something) of its skin, rind, bark, etc.: to peel an orange.
  2. to strip (the skin, rind, bark, paint, etc.) from something: to peel paint from a car.
  3. Croquet. to cause (another player’s ball) to go through a wicket.

verb (used without object)

  1. (of skin, bark, paint, etc.) to come off; become separated.
  2. to lose the skin, rind, bark, paint, etc.
  3. Informal. to undress.
  4. Metallurgy. (of a malleable iron casting) to lose, or tend to lose, the outer layer.


  1. the skin or rind of a fruit, vegetable, etc.
  2. Metallurgy. the presence of a brittle outer layer on a malleable iron casting.

Verb Phrases

  1. peel off,
    1. to remove (the skin, bark, etc.) or be removed: The old skin peeled off.
    2. leave a flying formation of aircraft with a banking turn, usually from one end of an echelon.
    3. turn off or leave (a road): We peeled off the highway onto a dirt road.
    4. to remove (clothing) in a swift upward or downward motion.


  1. keep one’s eyes peeled, Informal. to watch closely or carefully; be alert: Keep your eyes peeled for a gas station.

verb (adverb)

  1. to remove or be removed by peeling
  2. (intr) slang to undress
  3. (intr) (of an aircraft) to turn away as by banking, and leave a formation
  4. slang to go away or cause to go away


  1. (tr) to remove (the skin, rind, outer covering, etc) of (a fruit, egg, etc)
  2. (intr) (of paint, etc) to be removed from a surface, esp through weathering
  3. (intr) (of a surface) to lose its outer covering of paint, etc esp through weathering
  4. (intr) (of a person or part of the body) to shed skin in flakes or (of skin) to be shed in flakes, esp as a result of sunburn
  5. croquet to put (another player’s ball) through a hoop or hoops
  6. keep one’s eyes peeled or keep one’s eyes skinned to watch vigilantly


  1. the skin or rind of a fruit, etc


  1. a long-handled shovel used by bakers for moving bread, in an oven


  1. (in Britain) a fortified tower of the 16th century on the borders between England and Scotland, built to withstand raids


  1. John, real name John Robert Parker Ravenscroft . 1939–2004, British broadcaster; presented his influential Radio 1 music programme (1967–2004) and Radio 4’s Home Truths (1998–2004)
  2. Sir Robert. 1788–1850, British statesman; Conservative prime minister (1834–35; 1841–46). As Home Secretary (1828–30) he founded the Metropolitan Police and in his second ministry carried through a series of free-trade budgets culminating in the repeal of the Corn Laws (1846), which split the Tory party

v.“to strip off,” developed from Old English pilian “to peel, skin, decorticate, strip the skin or ring,” and Old French pillier, both from Latin pilare “to strip of hair,” from pilus “hair” (see pile (n.3)). Probably also influenced by Latin pellis “skin, hide.” Related: Peeled; peeling. Figurative expression keep (one’s) eyes peeled be observant, be on the alert” is from 1853, American English. n.2“shovel-shaped instrument” used by bakers, etc., c.1400, from Old French pele (Modern French pelle) “shovel,” from Latin pala “spade, shovel, baker’s peel,” of unknown origin. n.1piece of rind or skin, 1580s, from earlier pill, pile (late 14c.), from peel (v.)). 1Remove an outer layer of skin, bark, paint, or the like; also, come off in thin strips or pieces. For example, Peeling off birch bark can kill the tree, or Paint was peeling off the walls. [Late 1500s] 2Remove or separate, as in Helen peeled off her gloves and got to work, or Al peeled off a ten-dollar bill and gave it to the driver. [First half of 1900s] 3Also, peel away. Depart from a group, as in Ruth peeled off from the pack of runners and went down a back road. This expression originated in air force jargon during World War II and was used for an airplane or pilot that left flight formation, a sight that suggested the peeling of skin from a banana. In addition to the idiom beginning with peel

  • peel off
  • also see:

  • keep one’s eyes open (peeled)
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