peer

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peer

1. a member of a nobility; nobleman
2. a person who holds any of the five grades of the British nobility: duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Peer

 

the title of a representative of the higher nobility in Great Britain and France. The title first appeared in the Middle Ages. In France it was eliminated in 1789 but temporarily revived during the period from 1814 to 1848. In Great Britain the peerage still exists. Peers have the right to membership in the House of Lords.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

peer

[pir]
(communications)
A functional unit in a communications system that is in the same protocol layer as another such unit.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

peer

(networking)
A unit of communications hardware or software that is on the same protocol layer of a network as another. A common way of viewing a communications link is as two protocol stacks, which are actually connected only at the very lowest (physical) layer, but can be regarded as being connected at each higher layer by virtue of the services provided by the lower layers. Peer-to-peer communication refers to these real or virtual connections between corresponding systems in each layer.

To give a simple example, when two people talk to each other, the lowest layer is the physical layer which concerns the sound pressure waves travelling from mouth to ear (so mouths and ears are peers) the next layer might be the speech and hearing centres in the people's brains and the top layer their cerebellums or minds. Although, barring telepathy, nothing passes directly between the two minds, there is a peer-to-peer communication between them.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

peer

On the same level or providing the same function. In networking, a peer is a node that provides the same functionality as another. For example, two desktop PCs in a network are peers. A desktop PC and a server are not peers as they perform different operations. The desktop PC may query the server for business data, but the server does not query the PC for the same data. See peering.
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