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- n. (ME. pete, fr. ML. peta, perh. of Celt. origin; akin to W. peth, thing - more at piece) a piece of turf cut for use as a fuel; a mass of partially carbonized plant tissue formed by partial decomposition in water of various plants and esp. of mosses of the genus Sphagnum, widely found in many parts of the world, varying in consistency from a turf to a slime used as a fertilizer, as stable litter, as a fuel, and for making charcoal.