pinnacle

[ pin-uh-kuhl ]
/ ˈpɪn ə kəl /

noun

a lofty peak.
the highest or culminating point, as of success, power, fame, etc.: the pinnacle of one's career.
any pointed, towering part or formation, as of rock.
Architecture. a relatively small, upright structure, commonly terminating in a gable, a pyramid, or a cone, rising above the roof or coping of a building, or capping a tower, buttress, or other projecting architectural member.

verb (used with object), pin·na·cled, pin·na·cling.

to place on or as on a pinnacle.
to form a pinnacle on; crown.

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Origin of pinnacle

1300–50; Middle English pinacle<Middle French <Late Latin pinnāculum gable, equivalent to Latin pinn(a) raised part of a parapet, literally, wing, feather (see pinna) + -āculum;see tabernacle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does pinnacle mean?

A pinnacle is the highest point of something, especially success or fame. The pinnacle of a person’s career, for example, is the point at which they are most successful in their field.

In a literal sense, a pinnacle is a tall peak of a mountain.

In architecture, a pinnacle is an upright structure (usually some kind of cone, pyramid, or spire) that rises up from the roof of a building or caps a tower.

Example: Reaching the pinnacle of Sagarmāthā was the pinnacle of my mountaineering career.

Where does pinnacle come from?

The first records of the word pinnacle come from the 1300s. It comes from the late Latin word pinnāculum, meaning “gable” (the triangular part at the peak of a roof), from the Latin pinna, meaning “wing.”

When you reach the pinnacle of a mountain or your career, you are at the highest point—you can’t go any higher. At the pinnacle of a mountain, everything is below you, and it’s all downhill from there, as the saying goes. The same goes for the pinnacle of success or fame, though some people stay on top without ever having to come down.

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What are some synonyms for pinnacle?

What are some words that share a root or word element with pinnacle

What are some words that often get used in discussing pinnacle?

How is pinnacle used in real life?

Pinnacle is most often used in a figurative way to discuss the peak of something, like someone’s career, an art form, or an era of film or television.

 

 

Try using pinnacle!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of pinnacle?

A. peak
B. culmination
C. summit
D. foundation

Example sentences from the Web for pinnacle

British Dictionary definitions for pinnacle

pinnacle
/ (ˈpɪnəkəl) /

noun

the highest point or level, esp of fame, success, etc
a towering peak, as of a mountain
a slender upright structure in the form of a cone, pyramid, or spire on the top of a buttress, gable, or tower

verb (tr)

to set on or as if on a pinnacle
to furnish with a pinnacle or pinnacles
to crown with a pinnacle

Word Origin for pinnacle

C14: via Old French from Late Latin pinnāculum a peak, from Latin pinna wing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012