v. preened, preen·ing, preens
a. To smooth or clean (feathers) with the beak or bill.
b. To trim or clean (fur) with the tongue, as cats do.
2. To dress or groom (oneself) with elaborate care; primp.
3. To take pride or satisfaction in (oneself); gloat.
1. To dress up; primp.
2. To swell with pride; gloat or exult.
[Middle English proinen, preinen, blend of Old French proignier, to prune; see PRUNE2, and Old French poroindre, to anoint before (por-, before from Latin prō-; see PRO-1 + oindre, to anoint, from Latin unguere).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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.