AskDefine | Define peekaboo

Dictionary Definition

peekaboo n : a game played with young children; you hide your face and suddenly reveal it as you say Boo! [syn: bopeep]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A game for a small child in which one covers one's face, then revealing it and saying Boo! or Peekaboo!


game for small children


  1. In the context of "of clothing": with holes, slits or transparent fabric to reveal what is normally hidden.


of clothing, with holes, slits, or transparent fabric

Extensive Definition

Peekaboo (also spelled Peek-a-boo) is a game similar to hide and seek, but played with babies. In the game, one (child, teenager, or adult) hides their face, pops back into the baby's view, and says — to the baby's amusement — Peekaboo! I see you!
Peekaboo is thought by developmental psychologists to demonstrate an infant's inability to understand object permanence. Object permanence is an important stage of cognitive development for infants. Numerous tests regarding it have been done, usually involving a toy, and a crude barrier which is placed in front of the toy, and then removed, repeatedly. In early sensorimotor stages, the infant is completely unable to comprehend object permanence. Psychologist Jean Piaget conducted experiments with infants which led him to conclude that this awareness was typically achieved at eight to nine months of age. Infants before this age are too young to understand object permanence, which explains why they do not cry when their mothers are gone. "Out of sight, out of mind." A lack of Object Permanence can lead to A-not-B errors, where children reach for a thing at a place where it should not be.
peekaboo in Dutch: Kiekeboe (spel)
peekaboo in Japanese: いないいないばあ

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

clear, clear as crystal, crystal, crystal-clear, crystalline, diaphane, diaphanous, filmy, gauzy, gossamer, gossamery, light-pervious, limpid, lucid, nonopaque, pellucid, revealing, see-through, sheer, thin, transparent, transpicuous, unclouded
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