- to affect with sharp irritation and resentment, especially by some wound to pride: She was greatly piqued when they refused her invitation.
- to wound (the pride, vanity, etc.).
- to excite (interest, curiosity, etc.): Her curiosity was piqued by the gossip.
- to arouse an emotion or provoke to action: to pique someone to answer a challenge.
- Archaic. to pride (oneself) (usually followed by on or upon).
- to arouse pique in someone: an action that piqued when it was meant to soothe.
- a feeling of irritation or resentment, as from a wound to pride or self-esteem: to be in a pique.
- Obsolete. a state of irritated feeling between persons.
Origin of pique1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for pique on Thesaurus.com
- a fabric of cotton, spun rayon, or silk, woven lengthwise with raised cords.
- Ballet. a step in which the dancer steps onto the tip of the toe without bending the knee.
- ornamentation by means of punched or stippled patterns, sometimes inlaid with metal, ivory, tortoise shell, etc.
- (of glove seams and gloves) stitched through lapping edges.
- decorated with inlay: a piqué box.
Origin of piqué
- the scoring of 30 points in the declaration of hands and in the play before one's opponent scores a point.
- the bonus of 30 points won for so scoring.
Origin of pic2
Examples from the Web for pique
He is a mild-mannered and generous guy, not the kind of person prone to fits of pique or rage.We Lost Soldiers in the Hunt for Bergdahl, a Guy Who Walked Off in the Dead of Night
Nathan Bradley Bethea
June 2, 2014
This loud display of pique lasted about a week before Fallin quietly reversed herself.Mary Fallin’s Killer Fiasco
May 1, 2014
But like the committee hearing, it was just a nasty show of pique.How the Chuck Hagel Fight Changed the American Jewish Landscape in Washington
J. J. Goldberg
August 20, 2013
Except for a bit of petulance directed toward Stephanopoulos and a bit of pique directed at Huntsman, Romney maintained his cool.Paul Begala: Mitt Romney’s Competition Folds in New Hampshire Debate
January 8, 2012
The pique will fade in time, but it will inhibit diplomacy for a while.WikiLeaks’ Harmful New Dump
August 31, 2011
He was used to dealing with pique in women, and had found it the most manageable of weaknesses.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Only, you oughtn't to pique a curiosity you don't mean to satisfy.'Wilfrid Cumbermede
Do they pique themselves upon their courage, their gallantry, and their adventure?Imogen
When I quit her Majesty's service it will be neither for pique nor for love.Wild Justice: Stories of the South Seas
"Surely these gentlemen are scarcely so very anxious about me," said I, in some pique.That Boy Of Norcott's
Charles James Lever
- a feeling of resentment or irritation, as from having one's pride wounded
- to cause to feel resentment or irritation
- to excite or arouse
- (foll by on or upon) to pride or congratulate (oneself)
- a score of 30 points made by a player from a combination of cards held before play begins and from play while his opponent's score is nil
- to score a pique (against)
- informal a photograph, picture, or illustration
- a close-textured fabric of cotton, silk, or spun rayon woven with lengthwise ribs
Word Origin and History for pique
1530s, "fit of ill feeling," from Middle French pique "a prick, sting, irritation," noun of action from piquer (see pike (n.2)).
"to excite to anger," 1670s, from French piquer "to prick, sting" (see pike (n.2)). Softened meaning "to stimulate, excite" is from 1690s. Related: Piqued; piquing.
1884 as a shortening of picture (n.). Short for motion picture from 1936. Colloquial piccy is recorded from 1889.