Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

peel - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb     peel pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlepeeling
past tensepeeled
past participlepeeled
  1. 1
    [transitive] to remove the skin from a fruit or vegetable

    First peel the potatoes and cut them in half.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to remove something from the surface of something else, especially by taking one end or side and pulling it up
    peel something from something:

    He peeled a £50 note from a big roll of money.

    peel something off/away/back:

    To fasten the envelope first peel off the strip of paper along the edge.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] if something peels, small pieces of it or of something covering it start to become separated from it

    The paint in the hall is beginning to peel.

    Her sunburn was so bad that her shoulders were peeling.

    Synonyms and related words

phrasal verbs



a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play