peel vs peal

What is the difference?

definition: the outer covering or rind of a fruit or vegetable
  1. pieces of potato peel
rind, skin, covering, zest
definition: a loud ringing of a bell or bells
  1. the bell rang again, a long, loud peal
chime, carillon, ring, ringing, knell, toll, tolling, sound, sounding, death knell, clang, boom, resounding, reverberation, change, touch

peel vs peal

Want to know the difference between peel vs. peal? Peel and peal are pronounced exactly the same because they're homophones, but their meanings and spellings differ in the English language. Join us here as we peel back the layers of difference between peal and peal, show you how to use peeling and pealing, and give example sentences.

1. peel

noun, verb

Peel is the skin or rind of a fruit, vegetable, or shrimp. It is the outer layer that you often peel away. Some synonyms for peel are the rind, covering, zest, or crust. When you peel something, you take away the outer covering or layer. When something is peeling, it means that it is coming away. Some synonyms for this are exfoliating, peeling off, or blistering.


Fun Factoids

Did you know that the outer peels of fruits and vegetables contain many antioxidants and vitamins? Orange peel, in particular, has a lot of fiber, which is perfect for a healthy diet, and can be baked in the oven. Peel is a noun and verb, originating from the Latin word "pilare." As language has developed, the verb to peel has developed a figurative meaning and is often used as an idiom. "To keep your eyes peeled" means to remain vigilant or watchful over something, and "to peel off from" means something coming off someone or something in thin strips like paint peels or deviating from a group and going a different way. "To peel out" as an idiomatic phrase is when a car driver accelerates at a very high speed leaving tire marks on the ground.

Examples for peel

Peel is the outer skin. Lemon peels are often referred to as zest in recipes.

 A peel is the skin or rind of fruits like bananas, oranges, and apples.

 A banana peel is often symbolic in cartoons and comedies for being related to uncertainty and instability.

To peel back means to remove something fully or partially.

On the Isle of Man in the British Isles, Peel is a town on the west coast.

A chemical peel uses chemical solutions to peel away the outer layer of the skin.

2. peal

noun, verb

Peal is used as both a noun and a verb. Peal, as a verb, means to make a long succession of loud sounds. Peal, as a noun, refers to the often loud ringing of bells or any other series of long sounds, such as laughter. A peal of bells is the prolonged succession of the sound of bells.


Fun Factoids

In etymology, "pele" meaning the ringing of church bells, was used throughout the mid-14c to refer to the sound that calls people to a church service and is generally considered the shortened form of the noun appeal. In the 1510s, the meaning of this word was transferred to other loud sounds like thunder, cannon, laughter, or shouting.

Examples for peal

The peals of laughter could be heard from miles away.

The church towers contain a peal of 8 bells.

A long peal of thunder consists of a loud, long series of sounds.

The peal of barking from our neighbor's dog is very distracting.

The sequence or series of ringing bells is called a peal. In a musical piece, this is called a song.

A quarter peel or full peal is a longer performance of ringing eight bells with at least 5000 different changes. A quarter peal is around 45 minutes.

Takeaways - Tips


As a verb, peeling means removing the outer layer of fruit, vegetable, shrimp, or even skin. As a noun, it refers to the outer layer of a fruit, vegetable, or shrimp.


Peal is the loud sound of a bell ringing, a series of bells, laughter, or another loud, long sound like thunder or a burst of noise.

Bottom line

Use the word peel to refer to a fruit, vegetable, or food with a peel. If you're referring to a loud succession of sounds, use peal. In everyday speech, you're unlikely to struggle with the difference, but it's worth knowing for writing.


When to use peel?

When to use peal?

How to remember peel vs. peal

Commonly Confusing Words

Spell checkers don't always have you covered. Sometimes your word might be spelled correctly, but it could be the wrong word. In English, there are lots of confusing terms that look alike but are spelled differently, and many terms that mean the same thing but are easily misused.

Here are the most commonly confusing word pairings, with definitions and examples of their usage.

Check it out!