Peak, Peek, or Pique?

What Is the Difference between "Peak," "Peek," and "Pique"?

homeconfused wordsPeak, Peek, or Pique?
the quick answer

The Quick Answer

  • A peak is the highest point of something.
  • A peek is a quick look.
  • To pique means to arouse interest or curiosity.


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

  • 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.)


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

  • 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.)


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.
teachers note

A Note from Teacher

Common Terms with Peak, Peek, and Pique

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


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


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


Common terms with pique:
  • Piqued my interest
  • Piqued your interest

A Quick Test

hot grammar tip

Hot 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.

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