verb (used with object), piqued, piqu·ing.
verb (used without object), piqued, piqu·ing.
SYNONYMS FOR pique
QUIZ YOURSELF ON THE 12 TYPES OF VERB TENSES!
Origin of pique1
OTHER WORDS FROM piqueun·piqued, adjective
Words nearby pique
Definition for pique (2 of 3)
Definition for pique (3 of 3)
noun, plural pi·qués [pi-keyz, pee-; French pee-key] /pɪˈkeɪz, pi-; French piˈkeɪ/ for 2.
Origin of piqué
PIQUE VS. PEAK VS. PEEK
What's the difference between pique, peak, and peek?
The word pique is most commonly means to arouse or excite a particular feeling, as in Advertisements are designed to pique your interest. It can also be used as a verb meaning to irritate or as a noun referring to a feeling or irritation. 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 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.
To remember what pique means (and how to spell it), remember that the things that pique your interest or curiosity are often unique.
Since peek and peak 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.
Here’s an example of pique, peak, and peek 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 piqued, peaked, and peeked.
Quiz yourself on pique vs. peak vs. peek!
Should pique, peak, or peek be used in the following sentence?
Insults like that tend to _____ him.
How to use pique in a sentence
Their pique could only have been exacerbated by the fact that the law required public disclosure.The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax|by Jesse Eisinger, Jeff Ernsthausen and Paul Kiel|June 8, 2021|ProPublica
He had wanted the romance of being what he once was, something I was denying him in my pique.Catching Shade From Your (and the Beastie Boys’) Favorite TV Cop|Eugene Robinson|October 14, 2020|Ozy
How much might such spirited competitions pique the interest of stateside TV audiences?
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|DAILY BEAST
This loud display of pique lasted about a week before Fallin quietly reversed herself.
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|DAILY BEAST
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|Paul Begala|January 8, 2012|DAILY BEAST
The Daily News, in referring to this, suggests that "peacock temper" was a misprint for "pique, or temper."
I fear my manner showed my pique a trifle, for I did not see her anywhere about when I left after breakfast.The Idyl of Twin Fires|Walter Prichard Eaton
Ellen Morris accepted an invitation to Petersburg, ere the angry pique, aroused by Lynn's reproaches, passed off.Alone|Marion Harland
Many of us, male and female, treated as Susan imagined herself treated, have taken another lover out of pique.It Is Never Too Late to Mend|Charles Reade
Kilmeny had been brought too near the grim realities to hold any petty pique.The Highgrader|William MacLeod Raine