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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a pet cat (=one that you care for in your home)
▪ Lucy had a horse and a pet cat of her own.
a pet dog (=that you keep in your house)
▪ Some owners give their pet dogs too much food.
a pet theory (=a personal theory that you strongly believe)
▪ Each of them had his pet theory on what had caused the uprising.
heavy petting
pet door
pet name
petting zoo
teacher's pet
toy/pet/shoe/gift etc shop
▪ Her brother runs a record shop in Chester.
▪ As well as looking after the welfare of domestic pets, the society plays a vital role in the care of farm livestock.
▪ The foxes cause little nuisance, whereas domestic pets befoul the streets, parks and gardens.
▪ Nowadays there are three partners in the practise specialising almost exclusively in domestic pets.
▪ One call to pet food company Eukanuba and the expensive quarantine and complicated paperwork were taken care of.
▪ They have also been successful in encouraging many traditional pet shops to sell pre-packed pet foods, rather than loose from a sack.
▪ Even household pets, as MacIver reminded us, can be accorded similar if less formal privileges.
▪ Raised with their litter mates, greyhounds love becoming the center of attention as household pets.
▪ Rats, moles, and household pets were implicated.
▪ Why didn't he walk down to the Market and have a chat with old Bulldog at the pet shop?
▪ It was to be hoped that Joanna didn't let out details of their various clients and the pet shop.
▪ The 76 year old pensioner was beaten to death last Thursday in the pet shop where he worked part time.
▪ How do we represent the zoo, ship, town, pet shop or mayor's office?
▪ Before it was only pet shop owners who were entertained!
▪ Technology Teacher requests children's help, as experts, in designing a supermarket, pet shop - plans and model making.
▪ They even managed to cram in a visit to Notre Dame and the delightful pet shops along Quai de la Megisserie.
▪ You are not allowed to bring pets into or 50 cigars; or 250 grammes of loose tobacco.
▪ Be careful, too, about allowing pets.
▪ We weren't allowed to keep pets at school.
▪ You are not allowed to bring pets into or 50 cigars; or 250 grammes of loose tobacco.
▪ Howard Johnsons cheerfully refunded the $ 50 deposit it requires for people who want to bring a pet into a room.
▪ Can I bring my pet with me?
▪ Some people buy rare or difficult to keep animals as pets and donate them to zoos.
▪ The little robber girl: A feisty and spoiled robber girl, she kept many animal pets but mistreated them.
▪ It must be mentioned, too, that there is an ever-increasing tendency for ferrets to be kept purely as pets.
▪ Relatively small and stocky, short-tailed and beautiful, all 28 species of Amazona have been kept as pets.
▪ We weren't allowed to keep pets at school.
▪ Young of many animals are kept as pets, notably macaws and other birds including chickens.
▪ And people do keep them as pets, I believe.
▪ A second example is keeping wild animals as pets.
▪ He was made a great pet of by Edouard's manservant, George, and by his cook.
▪ Another makes a pet of a snowball, which wets the bed then runs away.
▪ Helen, who had longed to make a pet of Ben, was now able to love Amy.
▪ Not sufficient study, to my mind, has been made of the pets which were kept at Croisset.
▪ Anyone wanting to make their pet a star should go along to an audition at the theatre on March 16 at noon.
▪ Very few exotic animals make good pets.
▪ In short, they will not be true cats, but they will undeniably make more convenient pets.
▪ Do you have any pets?
▪ A third would think twice about moving home if it would upset their pets.
▪ Amelia had a wonderful time piloting her pet.
▪ Cat owners often notice that their pet will suddenly and for no apparent reason make a headlong dash through the house.
▪ Experts will cover topics such as disaster planning for pets and pet first aid, as well as horse nutrition and care.
▪ Late evening is also the best time to feed a pet.
▪ No smoking upstairs, no pets, no visitors, and there was a cleaning rota.
▪ One morning, Tony tells his Dad he wants a pet.
▪ The 76 year old pensioner was beaten to death last Thursday in the pet shop where he worked part time.
▪ Do you want to pet the kitty?
▪ Gentle petting made him sit down and close his eyes.
▪ He allows Lennie to pet mice and was going to let him keep one of Slim's new pups.
▪ He did not pet it, or stroke it: he stood staring.
▪ The student had formed a relationship with the rabbits she could reach and accompanied their feeding with petting and talking to them.
▪ The temptation was to pet it.
▪ Beside her stands a child, who nurses a pet bird on her lap.
▪ I was like Kiki, my pet bird in Saigon, tongue untwisted and sloughed of its rough and thick exterior.
▪ Now they are campaigning to be allowed to take their pet cat with them.
▪ It was only as my sister reopened the front door to let out her pet cat that I was noticed.
▪ A Glaxo unit bought the formula to use on pet cats.
▪ Some cat manuals solemnly instruct their readers in how to take their pet cats for a walk.
▪ The village cat owner sets off from home and finds the pet cat tagging along.
▪ Her parents were alerted by their pet cats and the family escaped unharmed.
▪ It was purring, like a pet cat.
▪ This acoustic ability of pet cats explains why they sometimes appear to have supernatural powers.
▪ Spillers pet foods had a resilient first half despite the continuing pressure on pet food margins.
▪ Peter Brabeck, Nestle chief executive, has shown a preference for pet food over people food.
▪ Most of the beef exported ends up as hamburgers, pet food, processed meats and baby foods.
▪ Spending on pet food was up more than seven percent in 1991.
▪ Particularly popular with customers were the canned nuts, home remedies, pizzas, pasta, cereals and canned pet foods range.
▪ Save-a-Can banks accept all metal tins including drink, food and pet food cans.
▪ The deal would significantly boost Nestle's position in the pet food market.
▪ It's only a pet name for Henry.
▪ He had never called her by her family pet name, Fifi, even when she lived at home.
▪ Reaney also deals with other interesting varieties of surnames based on relationships - those formed from pet names and diminutives.
▪ Mattie asked, still using the confidential pet name for her woman.
▪ Some Floozy Named Flo: he even had a pet name for her.
▪ I observed Bea putting her arm around me with a detached curiosity and listened to the pet names she whispered to me.
▪ They say pet owners should recognise their responsibilities and stop abandoning their pets.
▪ But often, companies will fine-tune their policies to help responsible pet owners.
▪ During hot summer days, pet owners should keep their indoor animals in a well-ventilated area.
▪ Why do pet owners do this?
▪ No organization likes being told that it has got to hold back its expansion or abandon some pet project.
▪ Even as the trajectory of his thought kept rising in the early seventies, the clock was ticking on his pet project.
▪ The proposals are seen as a pet project of the right wing of the Conservative Party and Conservative students' groups.
▪ Both grants represented pet projects of two council subcommittee members.
▪ His pet project is a biotechnology institute in which state funding will be matched by contributions from the Schering drug company.
▪ Monitoring the telephone conversations of the Kremlin hierarchy had become one of his pet projects over the last few years.
▪ Stirling also had a pet project up his sleeve.
▪ Even the nursery's pet rabbit is being tested as a possible carrier of the organism that causes the illness.
▪ If they have their own pet rabbit, make the bunny in an appropriate colour.
▪ In 1856-7 his niece Caroline has a pet rabbit.
▪ She was uneasy about going to the pet shop.
▪ Packets are available at gyms, athletic stores and pet shops throughout Tucson, or by calling 647-7572.
▪ This is sold, alongside Omega cat food, through specialist outlets such as pet shops, garden centres and agricultural merchants.
▪ We went to three pet shops before we found a pair of gray Brussels griffons.
▪ Suitable designs which clip together are available especially from larger pet shops.
▪ Frozen adult brine shrimp have been on the market for quite some time and are available through almost any pet shop.
▪ Your local pet shop is likely to have a variety of different collars available.
▪ You can obtain suitable tablets for this from your vet and most pet shops.
▪ While I was choosing it, the kids vanished into a nearby pet store where they discovered a nice little iguana.
▪ I cajoled John into agreeing then set off to the pet store to select the appropriate creature.
▪ The first was at a pet store a block or so away from my house.
▪ At 22 inches and hoofprints the size of half- dollars, the full-grown bay pinto has appeared in several pet store commercials.
▪ For this, they phoned the pet store for more information.
▪ Different chemists prefer different pet theories, and there is no shortage of theories.
▪ Even those Hippocratic treatises which inveigh against Presocratic dogmatism are themselves just as dogmatic where their own pet theories are concerned.
▪ One pet theory of mine is that the decline in the study of Latin has accentuated this interest.
▪ But they did begin researching various pet service business ideas.
▪ Pfizer is developing many of its human medicines, such as the antibiotic Zithromax and an arthritis drug, for pet use.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

pet \pet\ (p[e^]t), n. [Formerly peat, perhaps from Ir. peat, akin to Gael. peata.]

  1. A cade lamb; a lamb brought up by hand.

  2. Any person especially cherished and indulged; a fondling; a darling; often, a favorite child.

    The love of cronies, pets, and favorites.

  3. [Prob. fr. Pet a fondling, hence, the behavior or humor of a spoiled child.] A slight fit of peevishness or fretfulness. ``In a pet she started up.''

  4. Any animal kept as a companion, usually in or around one's home, typically domesticated and cared for attentively and often affectionately. Distinguished from animals raised for food or to perform useful tasks, as a draft animal.


pet \pet\, a. Petted; indulged; admired; cherished; as, a pet child; a pet lamb; a pet theory; a pet animal.

Some young lady's pet curate.
--F. Harrison.

Pet cock. [Perh. for petty cock.] (Mach.) A little faucet in a water pipe or pump, to let air out, or at the end of a steam cylinder, to drain it.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"tamed animal," originally in Scottish and northern England dialect (and exclusively so until mid-18c.), of unknown origin. Sense of "indulged child" (c.1500) is recorded slightly earlier than that of "animal kept as a favorite" (1530s), but the latter may be the primary meaning. Probably associated with or influenced by petty. As a term of endearment by 1849. Teacher's pet is attested from 1890. Pet-shop from 1928.\n\nKnow nature's children all divide her care;\n
The fur that warms a monarch warm'd a bear.\n
While man exclaims, 'See all things for my use!'\n
'See man for mine!' replies a pamper'd goose: \n


[Alexander Pope, "Essay on Man"]


"peevishness, offense at feeling slighted," 1580s, in phrase take the pet "take offense." Perhaps from pet (n.1) on a similar notion to that in American English that gets my goat, but the underlying notion is obscure, and the form of the original expression makes this doubtful. This word seems to have been originally a southern English term, while pet (n.1) was northern and Scottish.


1620s, "treat as a pet," from pet (n.1). Sense of "to stroke" is first found 1818. Slang sense of "kiss and caress" is from 1920 (implied in petting). Related: Petted.\n\n


Etymology 1

  1. Favourite; cherished. n. 1 An animal kept as a companion. 2 One who is excessively loyal to a superior. 3 Any person or animal especially cherished and indulged; a darling. v

  2. 1 (context transitive English) To stroke or fondle (an animal). 2 (context transitive informal English) To stroke or fondle (another person) amorously. 3 (context intransitive informal English) Of two or more people, to stroke and fondle one another amorously. 4 (context dated transitive English) To treat as a pet; to fondle; to indulge. 5 (context archaic intransitive English) To be a pet. Etymology 2

    n. A fit of petulance, a sulk, arising from the impression that one has been offended or slighted. Etymology 3

    n. (abbreviation of petition English) Etymology 4

    n. (context Geordie English) A term of endearment usually applied to women and children.

  1. adj. preferred above all others and treated with partiality; "the favored child" [syn: favored, favorite(a), favourite(a), preferred]

  2. [also: petting, petted]

  1. n. a domesticated animal kept for companionship or amusement

  2. a special loved one [syn: darling, favorite, favourite, dearie, deary, ducky]

  3. a fit of petulance or sulkiness (especially at what is felt to be a slight)

  4. using a computerized radiographic technique to examine the metabolic activity in various tissues (especially in the brain) [syn: positron emission tomography]

  5. [also: petting, petted]

  1. v. stroke or caress gently; "pet the lamb"

  2. stroke or caress in an erotic manner, as during lovemaking

  3. [also: petting, petted]


A pet or companion animal is an animal kept primarily for a person's company or protection, as opposed to working animals, sport animals, livestock, and laboratory animals, which are kept primarily for performance, agricultural value, or research. The most popular pets are noted for their attractive appearances and their loyal or playful personalities.

Pets provide their owners (or guardians) physical and emotional benefits. Walking a dog can supply both the human and pet with exercise, fresh air, and social interaction. Pets can give companionship to elderly adults who do not have adequate social interaction with other people, as well as other people that are living alone. There is a medically approved class of therapy animals, mostly dogs or cats, that are brought to visit confined humans. Pet therapy utilizes trained animals and handlers to achieve specific physical, social, cognitive, and emotional goals with patients.

The most popular pets are likely dogs and cats, but people also keep house rabbits, ferrets; rodents such as gerbils, hamsters, chinchillas, fancy rats, and guinea pigs; avian pets, such as canaries, parakeets, corvids and parrots; reptile pets, such as turtles, lizards and snakes; aquatic pets, such as goldfish, tropical fish and frogs; and arthropod pets, such as tarantulas and hermit crabs.

Some scholars and animal rights organizations have raised concern over pet-keeping with regards to the autonomy and objectification of nonhuman animals.

Pet (album)

Pet is the debut album by New Zealand rock band, Fur Patrol, released in 2000.

Pet (film)

Pet is an upcoming 2016 United States/Spain psychological thriller film written by Jeremy Slater, directed by Carles Torrens, and starring Dominic Monaghan, Ksenia Solo, Jennette McCurdy, and Nathan Parsons. The project debuted at the South by Southwest Film festival during March 2016.

Usage examples of "pet".

Stalinist lapels and hemlines into spangly kitsch, the Day-Glo designer industrial-waste outlets vending pet elements from beyond the actinide seriesin all this synthetic needs-mongering, Kraft and Linda stumble upon a bookstore.

Carl was bent over the benchtop in his lab, carefully pi petting a sucrose-laden DNA solution tinted with a blue indicator dye into a row of tiny slots in an agarose gel.

Frank had dated her briefly in high school, but the romance never advanced past petting, and Peggy had married a real estate agent the same month Frank went into the academy.

His parents took him to a hospital and they performed a CAT scan and an MRI scan and a PET scan and digital subtraction angiography and they found nothing wrong.

One lab looked like a pet shop given over to aquarists with a couple hundred fish tanks lining the walls and situated on most of the tables, as well.

Xavier uproots my pet araucaria and bears it across the garden into the conservatory I protest at the top of my voice.

She loved her hometown the way one loves a loyal family pet during its arthritic, bad-smelling final years.

Lily Bede spent money like this on every meal and hosted conventions for impecunious suffragists, and collected antique race horses as pets, she must be damn near running the estate into the ground.

It was her pet project, the prototype of several other homes for juveniles that she hinted The Foundation might be able to finance with the generous bequest she might leave us.

When this lady learned that Biche had been a pet of the king, she at first refused to give it up: and only after several demands, and with much difficulty, could she be induced to return it.

Jay had spotted her, Birdie glared at him, obviously having overheard his disparaging remarks regarding her pet.

Bozo has gone back to the wild, with most of her litter, and Bozo, together with one of his male pups, feeling the need for human companionship again, now that the urge for domesticity had waned, took to haunting the gates of Shondakor, and finally deigned to join us in the palace as a pet of the entire court.

My grandmother, Marzia, whose pet I was, came to me, bathed my face with cold water, and, unknown to everyone in the house, took me with her in a gondola as far as Muran, a thickly-populated island only half a league distant from Venice.

Pippinella, the green canary--half canary, half greenfinch--whom Doctor Dolittle had bought from a pet shop, and how she became the prima donna of his opera company.

Some courtiers carried their pet cats on their arms: highly bred miniature lynxes, caracals, and ocelots, trained to sit demurely at plateside and daintily share the feast.