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keep an eye peeled (for something or someone)
To remain vigilant or carefully watchful (for something or someone). They should be arriving any minute, so keep an eye peeled. Keep an eye peeled for a Christmas present we could give your mother. Keep an eye peeled for the health inspector, we heard he'll be doing a surprise inspection someday soon.
keep one's eyes open (for someone or something)and keep one's eyes peeled (for someone or something)
Fig. to remain alert and watchful for someone or something. (The entry with peeled is informal. Peel refers to moving the eyelids back. See also keep an eye out (for someone or something).) I'm keeping my eyes open for a sale on winter coats. Please keep your eyes peeled for Mary. She's due to arrive here any time. Okay. I'll keep my eyes open.
keep one's eyes peeled
(for someone or something) Go to keep one's eyes open (for someone or something).
(from something) [for one or more airplanes] to separate from a group of airplanes. The lead plane peeled off from the others, and soon the rest followed. The lead plane peeled off and dived into the clouds.
peel off (of) (something)
[for a surface layer] to come loose and fall away from something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) The paint is beginning to peel off the garage. The paint is peeling off.
[for a driver] to speed off in a car with a screeching of tires. Dave got in his car and peeled out, waking the neighbors. I wish he would stop peeling out!
peel something away (from something)
to peel something from the surface of something. Peel the label away from the envelope and place it on the order form. Peel away the label carefully.
peel something back (from something)
to lift something away from the surface of something. He peeled the sheets back from the bed and got in. He peeled back the sheets and got into the bed.
peel something off (of) (something)and peel something off from something
to remove the outside surface layer from something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) She carefully peeled the skin off the apple. She peeled off the apple's skin.
keep your eyes peeled (for something)
to watch carefully for someone or something keep an eye out (for somebody/something) Keep your eyes peeled for a taxi.
peel offalso peel away
to move away quickly The first of three attack jets suddenly peeled off to the right.
keep your eyes peeled/skinned(informal)
to watch very carefully for something (often + for ) Keep your eyes peeled for a signpost.
keep one's eyes open
Also, keep one's eyes peeled or skinned . Be watchful and observant. For example, We should keep our eyes open for a change in the wind's direction, or Keep your eyes peeled for the teacher. The first phrase dates from the late 1800s; the second and third, both colloquial and alluding to the lids not covering the eyes, date from the mid-1800s and 1830s, respectively.
1. Remove 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]
2. Remove 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]
3. Also, 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.
1. To strip some outer layer, surface, or covering away from something in thin strips or pieces: I peeled off the wrapping from my new CD case and took out the CD. You have to peel the skin off before you eat a banana.
2. To come off from a surface in thin strips or pieces: My skin peeled off after I got a sunburn. The labels peeled off from the file folders.
3. To take off clothes, especially when they fit tightly: It was so hot, we peeled off our jackets. Eventually, the campers peeled their shoes and socks off as they sat on the beach.
4. To leave a flight formation in order to land or make a dive. Used of an aircraft: The plane peeled off from the rest of the formation and did a trick.
5. To leave a group and move in a different direction: The members who voted against me peeled off and formed their own school.
To drive a vehicle away suddenly and quickly, especially by spinning and skidding the tires loudly: The angry teenager left the house quickly and peeled out of the driveway.
in. to strip off one’s clothing. I had to peel for my physical examination.