pet 1 (pĕt)
1. An animal kept for enjoyment or companionship.
2. An object of the affections.
3. A person especially loved or indulged; a favorite: the teacher's pet.
1. Kept as a pet: a pet cat.
a. Particularly cherished or indulged: a pet grandchild.
b. Expressing or showing affection: a pet name.
3. Being a favorite: a pet topic.
v. pet·ted, pet·ting, pets
To stroke or caress gently. See Synonyms at caress.
To stroke or fondle amorously.
[Scottish Gaelic peata, tame animal, pet, from Old Irish.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.