peck at


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peck at something

 
1. Lit. [for a bird] to poke someone or something with its beak. The bird pecked at the ground, snatching up the ants. I tried to hold on to the bird but it pecked at me hard.
2. Fig. [for someone] to eat just a little bit of something, being as picky as a bird. Are you well, Betty? You are just pecking at your food. Please don't peck at your food. You should eat everything.
See also: peck

peck at

v.
To eat something unenthusiastically by taking small bites: The sullen child only pecked at his carrots.
See also: peck
References in periodicals archive ?
Sensitivity to pressure--force used to peck at food : Birds were deprived of food for 1-1.
Sensitivity to pressure-force used to peck at a red disc : Birds were placed in the test cage for three min, after they were deprived of food for 1-1.
did not peck at the water, food or the red disc) were not included in the analysis of that test.
There were more head shakes per peck at 22 and 62 weeks in both the re-trimmed birds (at 22 weeks, p<0.
Sensitivity to pressure-force used to peck at food : The number of birds pecking at food in this test ranged from 30% in 12-week old non-trimmed birds to 70% in 22-week old non-trimmed birds (Table 3).
Sensitivity to pressure-force used to peck at a red disk : The number of birds pecking at the red disc ranged from 40 to 55% (Table 3).