[ pi-key, pee-; French pee-key ]
/ pɪˈkeɪ, pi-; French piˈkeɪ /

noun, plural pi·qués [pi-keyz, pee-; French pee-key] /pɪˈkeɪz, pi-; French piˈkeɪ/ for 2.

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.

Nearby words

  1. piquantly,
  2. pique,
  3. piqued,
  4. piquet,
  5. piquillo,
  6. pir,
  7. piracicaba,
  8. piracy,
  9. piraeus,
  10. piragua

Also pique.

Origin of piqué

1830–40; < French, past participle of piquer to quilt, prick; see pique1

Can be confusedpeak peek pique piqué

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for piqué


/ (ˈpiːkeɪ) /


a close-textured fabric of cotton, silk, or spun rayon woven with lengthwise ribs

Word Origin for piqué

C19: from French piqué pricked, from piquer to prick


/ (piːk) /


a feeling of resentment or irritation, as from having one's pride wounded

verb piques, piquing or piqued (tr)

to cause to feel resentment or irritation
to excite or arouse
(foll by on or upon) to pride or congratulate (oneself)

Word Origin for pique

C16: from French, from piquer to prick, sting; see pick 1


/ (piːk) piquet /


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)

Word Origin for pique

C17: from French pic, of uncertain origin

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

Word Origin and History for piqué
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper