Idioms, Phrasal Verbs + more with PEEL

As you have learned along your English journey, words in English can have multiple meanings, be used in different contexts, and have completely different meanings when part of an idiom or phrasal verb.

During breakfast the other day, I was peeling my banana and had a thought about the many different uses of the word PEEL. It’s not only a verb, but it can be a noun, and it has its own variations in an idiom and phrasal verbs. Today we are diving into those various meanings and you are going to take your skills up to a new level!

Let’s begin with the definitions of peel.

PEEL [noun]: the skin of a fruit


banana peel


orange peel

peeler [noun] a tool that is used to peel the skin from fruits and vegetables

PEEL [verb]  

(3 meanings)

1. to remove the skin from a fruit or vegetable (*note: there is always an object)


She is peeling the garlic.


I need to peel the apples. It’s easier to do with a peeler.

2.  to remove an outer shell/covering from something (*note: it will always have an adverb or preposition AND an object)

– My apartment had very old wallpaper that I wanted to change. So I had to peel it from the wall before I put the new one on.
-There was a protective plastic covering the screen of my new iPhone, so I peeled it off

3. to come off in pieces (*note: this has no object)



The paint started to peel in this old house.


* John got sunburn, which caused him to peel.



 keep your eyes peeled: to be on the lookout/to watch or look out for something carefully in order to see something happen
-At my husband’s surprise birthday party, I had someone keeping their eyes peeled for him at the window.
-We were driving in a new city and didn’t know where the hotel was. I told my friend to keep her eyes peeled for any sign.


1. (A) peel off: to turn and leave somewhere very quickly
EXAMPLE:  In a hurry after work, Taylor peeled off in her car.

(B)peel off: to remove an article of clothing that’s tight
EXAMPLE: When I got home from the snow I had to peel off my little sister’s jacket once I got inside.

2. peel out: to speed away from a place in a car, or another vehicle causing the tires to make a screeching sound against the street.
EXAMPLE: Jack was trying to be cool in front of his friends and peeled out of the high school parking lot.


The next step, after learning new expressions, is to practice them. You have read 9 different definitions in this post related to nouns, verbs, an idiom, and phrasal verbs. Can you use each of them in a unique sentence? Can you try and create a sentence on your own using these words in the various contexts? Comment below with your sentences and I’ll help you if you need it with feedback!

Good luck!

As always…

Happy Studying! ♥

If you could take 1 minute and share this article with a friend or colleague, I would be so thankful!

*Sunburn image from Flikr:

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