- 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
Examples from the Web for piquing
There was no assault of the alien nature upon his own, irresistible because so piquing.The Prisoner
The young lady, piquing herself on her constancy, refused her new admirer.The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Complete
Jean Jacques Rousseau
They seem to have made caricatures of him, piquing themselves, no doubt, upon the durability of the marble in which they worked.Studies of the Greek Poets (Vol I of 2)
John Addington Symonds
Judkins is rather a dandy than otherwise, piquing himself somewhat on his apparel.George Walker at Suez
It is the only part on which I have bestowed much pains, for the difficulty was piquing, not piquant.George Eliot's Life, Vol. I (of 3)
- 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)
- a close-textured fabric of cotton, silk, or spun rayon woven with lengthwise ribs
Word Origin and History for piquing
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.