Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

Peak, Peek, and Pique

The Quick Answer
What is the difference between peak, peek, and pique?
  • A peak is the highest point of something.
  • A peek is a quick look.
  • To pique means to arouse interest or curiosity.

Peak

The noun peak is the maximum point, degree, or volume of something. (The word peak can also be used as a verb.)

Examples:
  • I grew up climbing mountains in Montana. My wife and I were engaged on top of a mountain peak.
  • It's been a career filled with very low valleys and some wonderful high peaks. (Pat Morita)
  • I hate to sound self-involved, but I feel like I haven't peaked yet. (Q Tip)
  • (This is an example of peak being used as a verb.)

Peek

The noun peek denotes a quick look or glance. (The word peek can also be used as a verb.)

Examples:
  • It's fun to peek into other people's worlds and see how they go about doing things. (Norah Jones)
  • I don't think it's a director's job to peek behind the curtain too much. (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  • (This is an example of peek being used as a verb.)
  • We may train or peek for a certain race, but running is a lifetime sport. (Alberto Salazar)
  • (This should be peak.)

Pique

The noun pique denotes a feeling of irritation or displeasure. It can also be used as a verb meaning to irk or displease. Pique can also mean to arouse or provoke interest.

Examples of pique meaning irritation or displeasure:
  • If someone starts agreeing with me, I don't like it. Out of pique, I become something else. (Alexei Sayle)
  • In a fit of pique, I said to my agent, "I'm going to write something you can sell."
  • It piqued me.
Example of pique meaning to arouse or provoke interest:
  • A great way to pique people's interest in nutrition is to involve them more in the cooking process.
Note

Common Terms with Peak, Peek, and Pique

Here are some common terms which feature peak, peek, or pique:

Peak

Common terms with peak:
  • Peak of fitness
  • Peak hours
  • Mountain peak

Peek

Common terms with peek:
  • Peek a boo
  • Take a peek
  • Sneak a peek

Pique

Common terms with pique:
  • Piqued my interest
  • Piqued your interest
Interactive Test
 
 
Top Tip

Ways to Remember Peek, Peak, and Pique

Here are some ways to remember peek, peak, and pique:
  • Reach a peak by climbing.
  • Peer by peeking.
  • I have a question. You have piqued my interest.