View synonyms for peak



[ peek ]


  1. the pointed top of a mountain or ridge.
  2. a mountain with a pointed summit.
  3. the pointed top of anything.
  4. the highest or most important point or level:

    the peak of her political career.

    Synonyms: optimum, perfect, ideal, zenith, summit, pinnacle, apex, acme

    Antonyms: nadir, abyss, chasm

  5. the maximum point, degree, or volume of anything:

    Oil prices reached their peak last year.

  6. 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.

  7. the higher fare, charges, etc., during such a period:

    If you fly during the Christmas holidays, you'll have to pay peak.

  8. Physics.
    1. the maximum value of a quantity during a specified time interval:

      a voltage peak.

    2. the maximum power consumed or produced by a unit or group of units in a stated period of time.
  9. a projecting point:

    the peak of a man's beard.

  10. a projecting front piece, or visor, of a cap.
  11. Phonetics. nucleus ( def 8a ).
  12. Nautical.
    1. the contracted part of a ship's hull at the bow or the stern.
    2. the upper after corner of a sail that is extended by a gaff.
    3. the outer extremity of a gaff.

verb (used without object)

  1. to project in a peak.
  2. to attain a peak of activity, development, popularity, etc.:

    The artist peaked in the 1950s.

verb (used with object)

  1. Nautical. to raise the after end of (a yard, gaff, etc.) to or toward an angle above the horizontal.


  1. Also . being at the point of maximum frequency, intensity, use, etc.; busiest or most active:

    Hotel rooms are most expensive during the peak travel seasons.

  2. constituting the highest or maximum level, volume, etc.; optimal; prime:

    a machine running at peak performance.

  3. being at the height of trendiness, public notice, etc:

    We have reached peak “exercise dress”—women are gravitating toward sporty, stretchy skort-dresses for everyday wear.

  4. being the most perfect embodiment of something:

    Peak Gemini energy on display as our kid takes one lick off everyone’s cone, because she likes all the ice cream flavors.



[ peek ]

verb (used without object)

  1. to become weak, thin, and sickly.


/ piːk /


  1. a pointed end, edge, or projection

    the peak of a roof

  2. the pointed summit of a mountain
  3. a mountain with a pointed summit
  4. the point of greatest development, strength, etc

    the peak of his career

    1. a sharp increase in a physical quantity followed by a sharp decrease

      a voltage peak

    2. the maximum value of this quantity
    3. ( as modifier )

      peak voltage

  5. Also calledvisor a projecting piece on the front of some caps
    1. the pointed end of a beard
  6. nautical
    1. the extreme forward ( forepeak ) or aft ( afterpeak ) part of the hull
    2. (of a fore-and-aft quadrilateral sail) the after uppermost corner
    3. the after end of a gaff


  1. tr nautical to set (a gaff) or tilt (oars) vertically
  2. to form or reach or cause to form or reach a peak or maximum


  1. of or relating to a period of highest use or demand, as for watching television, commuting, etc

    peak time

    peak viewing hours

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Derived Forms

  • ˈpeaky, adjective

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Other Words From

  • peak·less adjective
  • peak·like adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of peak1

First recorded in 1520–30; late Middle English pek(e) “spike, pointed tip,” Old English pīc “point, pointed instrument, pike,” probably originally a variant of pike 2( def ); compare Middle Low German pēk, peek, peik “pick, pike”

Origin of peak2

First recorded in 1500–10; origin uncertain

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Word History and Origins

Origin of peak1

C16: perhaps from pike ², influenced by beak 1; compare Spanish pico, French pic, Middle Low German pēk

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Example Sentences

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.

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.

Hustler, whose circulation peaked above 2 million in the late 1970s, thumbed its nose at sleeker skin publications such as Playboy and Penthouse.

After peaking above 1,000 in 2016 and 2017, thefts dipped to just 300 in 2018, but rose again to 542 in 2019.

That was the extent of it during the peak of the flames, and the numbers that swooshed around in the press the next day.

At its peak, his business made as much as $30,000 a year—provided he worked the entire month of December.

At his year-end, pre-Hawaii press conference, we caught a rare glimpse of peak Obama.

The series came to life just as the era of “hatewatching” was at its peak.

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.

The Hope lay safely moored, with her ensign at the peak, and flying the distinguished flag of the firm.

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.

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.


Related Words

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Peak vs. Peek vs. Pique

What's the difference between peakpeek, 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.




pea jacketPeak District