verb (used with object), piqued, piqu·ing.

verb (used without object), piqued, piqu·ing.

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 pique

1525–35; < Middle French pique (noun), piquer (v.) < Vulgar Latin *piccare to pick1; see pickax, pike2, piqué
Related formsun·piqued, adjective
Can be confusedpeak peek pique piqué

Synonyms for pique

Antonyms for pique

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

Examples from the Web for piqued

Contemporary Examples of piqued

Historical Examples of piqued

  • The Little Doctor, puzzled as well as piqued, went straight to the point.

  • The words, of her age, piqued me; and I spared no pains to make him forget them.

  • And Speranza was at first puzzled, then piqued, then himself madly fascinated.

    The Portygee

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • It was rather their action as a unit which piqued his interest.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

  • Are you piqued with me for anything that occurred this morning?


    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for piqued




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




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



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
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 piqued



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper