- the pointed top of a mountain or ridge.
- a mountain with a pointed summit.
- the pointed top of anything.
- the highest or most important point or level: the peak of her political career.
- the maximum point, degree, or volume of anything: Oil prices reached their peak last year.
- a time of the day or year when traffic, use, demand, etc., is greatest and charges, fares, or the like are at the maximum: Early evening is the peak on commuter railroads.
- the higher fare, charges, etc., during such a period: If you fly during the Christmas holidays, you'll have to pay peak.
- the maximum value of a quantity during a specified time interval: a voltage peak.
- the maximum power consumed or produced by a unit or group of units in a stated period of time.
- a projecting point: the peak of a man's beard.
- widow's peak.
- a projecting front piece, or visor, of a cap.
- Phonetics. nucleus(def 8a).
- the contracted part of a ship's hull at the bow or the stern.
- the upper after corner of a sail that is extended by a gaff.
- the outer extremity of a gaff.
- to project in a peak.
- to attain a peak of activity, development, popularity, etc.: The artist peaked in the 1950s.
- Nautical. to raise the after end of (a yard, gaff, etc.) to or toward an angle above the horizontal.
- Also on-peak. being at the point of maximum frequency, intensity, use, etc.; busiest or most active: Hotel rooms are most expensive during the peak travel seasons.
- constituting the highest or maximum level, volume, etc.; optimal; prime: a machine running at peak performance.
Origin of peak1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- to become weak, thin, and sickly.
Origin of peak2
Examples from the Web for peak
That was the extent of it during the peak of the flames, and the numbers that swooshed around in the press the next day.The Fiery Death of Sotto Sotto, Toronto’s Celebrity Hotspot
December 30, 2014
At its peak, his business made as much as $30,000 a year—provided he worked the entire month of December.Kerry Bentivolio: The Congressman Who Believes in Santa Claus
December 24, 2014
At his year-end, pre-Hawaii press conference, we caught a rare glimpse of peak Obama.The Liberation of the Lame Duck: Obama Goes Full Bulworth
December 19, 2014
The series came to life just as the era of “hatewatching” was at its peak.'The Newsroom' Ended As It Began: Weird, Controversial, and Noble
December 15, 2014
Following a peak of 153 new cases a week in August, Lofa was down to just four new cases for the week ending Nov. 1.How Liberia (Might Have) Beat Ebola
November 17, 2014
At length, when we were nearly under the peak, he began to ascend.Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
Wotan walked around the peak, drawing a line with his spear.Opera Stories from Wagner
And however high a peak you climb, the plain is still as high as the peak.
They seem to involve the bore of a climb without the pleasure of a peak.
"I will ask one of the engine-drivers, my lady," he answered, with his hand at the peak of his cap.Roden's Corner
Henry Seton Merriman
- a pointed end, edge, or projectionthe peak of a roof
- the pointed summit of a mountain
- a mountain with a pointed summit
- the point of greatest development, strength, etcthe peak of his career
- a sharp increase in a physical quantity followed by a sharp decreasea voltage peak
- the maximum value of this quantity
- (as modifier)peak voltage
- Also called: visor a projecting piece on the front of some caps
- See widow's peak
- the pointed end of a beard
- the extreme forward (forepeak) or aft (afterpeak) part of the hull
- (of a fore-and-aft quadrilateral sail) the after uppermost corner
- the after end of a gaff
- (tr) nautical to set (a gaff) or tilt (oars) vertically
- to form or reach or cause to form or reach a peak or maximum
- of or relating to a period of highest use or demand, as for watching television, commuting, etcpeak viewing hours; peak time
Word Origin and History for peak
"pointed top," 1520s, variant of pike (n.4) "sharp point." Meaning "top of a mountain" first recorded 1630s, though pike was used in this sense c.1400. Figurative sense is 1784. Meaning "point formed by hair on the forehead" is from 1833. According to OED, The Peak in Derbyshire is older than the word for "mountaintop;" e.g. Old English Peaclond, for the district, Pecsaetan, for the people who settled there, Peaces ærs for Peak Cavern; sometimes said to be a reference to an elf-denizen Peac "Puck."
1570s, "to rise in a peak," from peak (n.). Figurative meaning "reach highest point" first recorded 1958. Related: peaked; peaking.