AskDefine | Define pet

Dictionary Definition

pet adj : preferred above all others and treated with partiality; "the favored child" [syn: favored, favorite(a), favourite(a), preferred]


1 a domesticated animal kept for companionship or amusement
2 a special loved one [syn: darling, favorite, favourite, dearie, deary, ducky]
3 a fit of petulance or sulkiness (especially at what is felt to be a slight)
4 using a computerized radiographic technique to examine the metabolic activity in various tissues (especially in the brain) [syn: positron emission tomography]


1 stroke or caress gently; "pet the lamb"
2 stroke or caress in an erotic manner, as during lovemaking [also: petting, petted]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /pɛt/
  • Rhymes with: -ɛt

Etymology 1

Originally and Northern English dialect, origin is unsure but may have arisen due to influence of petty pertaining to children and later companion animals.


  1. An animal kept as a companion.
  2. One who is excessively loyal to their superior.
an animal kept as a companion
  • Finnish: lemmikkieläin
  • French: animal familier
  • Spanish: mascota
one who is excessively loyal to their superior
  • Finnish: lemmikki
checktrans-top Translations to categorise


Online Etymology Dictionary

Etymology 2

See Etymology 1


  1. To stroke or fondle (an animal).
  2. In the context of "transitive|informal": To stroke or fondle (another person) amorously.
  3. In the context of "intransitive|informal": Of two or more people, to stroke and fondle one another amorously.
fondle (an animal)
  • Danish: kæle
  • Dutch: aaien
  • French: caresser
  • Italian: accarezzare
  • Norwegian: kjæle
fondle (another person) amorously
  • Danish: kæle
  • Dutch: strelen
  • French: peloter
  • Norwegian: kjæle, kose med
(intrans.) fondle amorously
  • French: se peloter
Derived terms

Etymology 3

Abbreviation of petition.

Etymology 4

Diminutive of petal.


  1. A term of endearment usually applied to women and children.


Northeast Dialect 2005}}


Cardinal number

Extensive Definition

A pet or companion animal is an animal kept for companionship and enjoyment, as opposed to livestock, laboratory animals, working animals or sport animals, which are kept for economic reasons. The most popular pets are noted for their loyal or playful characteristics, for their attractive appearance, or for their song. Pets also generally seem to provide their owners with non-trivial health benefits; keeping pets has been shown to help relieve stress to those who like having animals around. There is now a medically-approved class of "therapy animals," mostly dogs, who are brought to visit confined humans. Walking a dog can provide both the owner and the dog with exercise, fresh air, and social interaction.


  • Injuries, maulings and sometimes deaths caused by dog bites and attacks
  • Disease or parasites due to animal hygiene problems (feces and urine)
  • Stress caused by behavior of animals
  • Fear or distress from animal presence or behavior

Pets and allergies

Some people with allergies can have adverse reactions to animal dander and fur or feathers. Some people with asthma can have attacks triggered by these.


External links

pet in Bambara: Sokɔnɔbagan
pet in Bengali: পোষ্য
pet in Danish: Kæledyr
pet in German: Heimtier
pet in Estonian: Lemmikloomad
pet in Spanish: Mascota (animal)
pet in Esperanto: Dombesto
pet in French: Animal de compagnie
pet in Scottish Gaelic: Peata
pet in Ido: Dorloto
pet in Indonesian: Binatang peliharaan
pet in Italian: Animale da compagnia
pet in Hebrew: חיות מחמד
pet in Lithuanian: Naminiai gyvūnėliai
pet in Dutch: Huisdier
pet in Japanese: ペット
pet in Norwegian: Kjæledyr
pet in Portuguese: Animal de estimação
pet in Simple English: Pet
pet in Finnish: Lemmikkieläin
pet in Swedish: Sällskapsdjur
pet in Chinese: 寵物

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

admired, adored, angel, babe, baby, baby-doll, beloved, bill and coo, buttercup, caress, cherished, cherub, chick, chickabiddy, cocker, coddle, copulate, cosset, cuddle, dally, dandle, darling, dear, dearly beloved, deary, doll, duck, duckling, dudgeon, embrace, esteemed, favorite, feel up, ferment, fondle, fondling, fret, frictionize, fume, grump, held dear, high dudgeon, hon, honey, honey bunch, honey child, huff, hug, idol, jewel, knead, lamb, lambkin, lollygag, love, loved, lover, make love, make out, massage, matinee idol, miff, minion, neck, nose, nuzzle, pat, petkins, pique, popular, pout, precious, precious heart, preference, prized, revered, rub, rub against, rub down, rub noses, smooch, snookums, spoiled child, spoon, stew, stroke, sugar, sweet, sweet-talk, sweetheart, sweetie, sweetkins, sweets, tiff, toy, treasured, trifle, wanton, well-beloved, well-liked, whisper sweet nothings, white-haired
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1