Definition for PEEL

PEEL, v.t. [Fr. peler, piller; Sp. pelar, pillar; Port. pelar, pilhar; It. pigliare; L. pilo, to pull off hair and to pillage; Arm. pilha; W. piliaw, to take off the surface or rind. The first verb peler, pelar, seems to be formed from L. pilus, the hair. The Eng. peel is therefore from the other verb. See Pill. Class Bl, No. 32, 44, 51.]

  1. To strip off skin, bark or rind without a cutting instrument; to strip by drawing or tearing off the skin; to bark; to flay; to decorticate. When a knife is used, we call it paring. Thus we say, to peel a tree, to peel an orange; but we say, to pare an apple, to pare land.
  2. In a general sense, to remove the skin, bark or rind, even with an instrument.
  3. To strip; to plunder; to pillage; us, to peel a province or conquered people. – Milton. Dryden.

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