peeping Tom


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia.

peeping Tom

A man who secretly observes women undressing or engaging in sexual intercourse. Unless you want to be a target for peeping Toms, you better get curtains for your bedroom windows soon.
See also: peep, tom

peeping Tom

A person who secretly watches others, especially for sexual gratification; a voyeur. For example, The police caught a peeping Tom right outside their house. This expression, first recorded in 1796, alludes to the legend of the tailor Tom, the only person to watch the naked Lady Godiva as she rode by and who was struck blind for this sin.
See also: peep, tom

a ˌPeeping ˈTom

(disapproving) a person who likes to watch people secretly, especially when they are taking off their clothesIn 1040 in the English town of Coventry, Lady Godiva rode through the streets completely naked in an attempt to make her husband change his mind about forcing people to pay high taxes. In the story, only one man, Tom, watched her and he suddenly became blind.
See also: Peep, tom

peeping Tom

A person who secretly watches others, especially for sexual gratification. This term, first recorded in 1796, alludes to the legend of tailor Tom, the only one to watch the naked Lady Godiva as she rode by and who was struck blind for doing so. Many localities have “peeping Tom laws,” ordinances usually based on principles of invading privacy. The traditional peeping Tom involves a man peering through a window into a private dwelling, but today’s advanced technology may involve a spy camera, telescope, or hidden recording equipment observing someone remotely. The Athens Banner-Herald reported police were looking for a peeping Tom who spied on a fifteen-year-old girl, standing on a five-gallon bucket to peep through a crack in the girl’s mini-blinds (July 26, 2010). The British Sunday Mirror reported a case of a landlord spying on girl tenants in their bathroom via sophisticated recording equipment that taped all their actions (August 16, 1998).
See also: peep, tom
References in periodicals archive ?
Chilling: The disturbing Peeping Tom has been re-released.
Passing sentence,Judge Eleri Rees said: ``This is a rather bizarre offence which harps back to the days of the old peeping Tom.
The oldest Peeping Tom sculpture dates back to 1660 and is displayed in Cathedral Lanes.
Prosecutor Charles Ward-Jackson told a Reading court: "It is called being a Peeping Tom, looking at people for sexual gratification.
A PEEPING Tom posted nude pictures of American ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews on the internet a couple of weeks ago.
WORKERS at the heart of a CCTV peeping tom probe have been sacked for gross misconduct.
The Peeping Tom technique was revealed after one 10-year-old girl who was getting dressed saw someone peering at her through a small hole in the cubicle wall.
And just weeks later she and her young son Liam were dead - gunned down by the pervert Peeping Tom who had become infatuated with her carefree beauty.
For looking, Peeping Tom was punished - He was struck either dead or blind.
A PEEPING Tom walked free yesterday after setting up a sneaky mirror device to see round corners so he could spy on a brunette.
FOUR workers have been arrested in a council CCTV peeping Tom probe.
SCOTS housemate Cameron was accused of being a peeping Tom yesterday.
COVENTRY'S popular ceilidhrock band Peeping Tom is to perform at 40 dances on a nationwide tour to celebrate 40 years of playing.