perk (v.)

late 14c., perken, "to make oneself trim or smart," perhaps literally "to perch on a tree," from Old North French perquer "to perch" (Modern French percher; see perch (n.1), and compare perk (n.1)), on notion of a bird preening its plumage. Sense of "raise briskly, hold up smartly" is attested from 1520s; perk up "recover liveliness" is from 1650s. Related: Perked; perking.

Þe popeiayes perken and pruynen for proude On peren and pynappel.
["Susannah," Scottish alliterative poem, c. 1390]

perk (n.1)

"horizontal bar serving as a support for various purposes," late 14c., "rod, pole, perch for a hawk," a variant of perch (n.1) or from Medieval Latin perca, Old French perce, variant of perche.

perk (n.2)

1869, a shortened, colloquial form of perquisite (q.v.), also perq. As a verb, 1934 as a shortened and altered form of percolate, also perc.

updated on April 08, 2020

Definitions of perk from WordNet
perk (v.)
gain or regain energy;
Synonyms: perk up / percolate / pick up / gain vigor
perk (n.)
an incidental benefit awarded for certain types of employment (especially if it is regarded as a right);
Synonyms: fringe benefit / perquisite
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