- 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.
- 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.
Origin of peak1
OTHER WORDS FROM peakpeak·less, adjectivepeak·like, adjective
Words nearby peak
Other definitions for peak (2 of 2)
Origin of peak2
OTHER WORDS FROM peakpeakish, adjectivepeak·ish·ly, adverbpeak·ish·ness, noun
PEAK VS. PEEK VS. PIQUE
What's the difference between peak, peek, and pique?
The word peak refers to the top of a mountain or, more figuratively, to the highest point of something, as in the peak of my career. The word peek is most commonly used as a verb meaning to look at something quickly or sneakily and as a noun referring to such a look. The less frequently used word pique is most commonly used as a verb meaning to arouse or excite a particular feeling, as in Advertisements are designed to pique your interest.
The confusion surrounding the three words—all three of which can be used as both a verb and a noun—is mainly due to the fact that they are all pronounced the same.
Since peak and peek are so close in spelling, one way to tell them apart is to remember that peek has two e’s, which kind of look like two little eyes peeking out between the p and the k. Another way to remember this is that peek has two e’s like look has two o’s.
To remember what pique means (and how to spell it), remember that the things that pique your interest or curiosity are often unique.
Here’s an example of peak, peek, and pique used correctly in a sentence.
Example: The image of the strange mountain peak on the cover was meant to pique your curiosity, and it worked—you picked up the magazine to peek inside.
Want to learn more? Read the breakdown of the difference between peaked, peeked, and piqued.
Quiz yourself on peak vs. peek vs. pique!
Should peak, peek, or pique be used in the following sentence?
I can’t stay for long—I just want to take a quick _____ inside.
How to use peak in a sentence
While many of these novice investors did make large sums of money — at its peak, the stock hit almost 30 times its value from the start of January — many lost out as well.
Precipitation should end by mid-morning on Thursday, but it will stay cold, with temperatures peaking in the low-to-mid 30s.Snow and wintry mix continue overnight, especially north of District|Jason Samenow, Wes Junker, Andrew Freedman|February 11, 2021|Washington Post
The state’s number of daily vaccinations has dipped slightly this week compared with the last week of January, when it hit a peak of nearly 30,000 vaccinations in one day.Leaders in Washington region ask FEMA for help in vaccinating federal workers|Julie Zauzmer, Rachel Chason, Rebecca Tan|February 11, 2021|Washington Post
Hustler, whose circulation peaked above 2 million in the late 1970s, thumbed its nose at sleeker skin publications such as Playboy and Penthouse.Larry Flynt, pornographer and self-styled First Amendment champion, dies at 78|Paul W. Valentine|February 10, 2021|Washington Post
After peaking above 1,000 in 2016 and 2017, thefts dipped to just 300 in 2018, but rose again to 542 in 2019.Bee theft is almost a perfect crime—but there’s a new sheriff in town|Andrew Zaleski|February 9, 2021|Popular-Science
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|Shinan Govani|December 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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|Ben Jacobs|December 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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|John Avlon|December 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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|Kevin Fallon|December 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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.
Three days later he was in Switzerland, and a few days later again he was on the summit of a minor but still difficult peak.Uncanny Tales|Various
The Hope lay safely moored, with her ensign at the peak, and flying the distinguished flag of the firm.Skipper Worse|Alexander Lange Kielland
We passed a heap of black ashes, which anywhere but at the base of the peak would be called a respectable mountain.
The Peak District in Derbyshire we omitted for the same reason—a previous visit.British Highways And Byways From A Motor Car|Thomas D. Murphy
The ice is procured from a large cavern near the cone of the peak; it is almost full of the finest ice all the year round.
British Dictionary definitions for peak
- a sharp increase in a physical quantity followed by a sharp decreasea voltage peak
- the maximum value of this quantity
- (as modifier)peak voltage
- 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