peeping Tom

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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 ?
Richard 'I Don't Believe It' Wilson is the grubby peeping-tom manager struggling to keep his ramshackle Parisian hotel in business.
Although the plot moves slowly after the reader is introduced to Nick during an examination where his doctor decides the boy's left eye (damaged after a group peeping-tom session goes bad) must be removed, Mantarakis does a skillful job setting the background for the profound changes Nick eventually makes in his life.