The Grammar GuideSpellingShould I use "peek", "peak", or "pique"?

Should I use "peek", "peak", or "pique"?

Should I use "peek", "peak", or "pique"?

Peek, peak, and pique are homophones. By learning their definitions, you'll know when best to use them in your writing.

Peek is a verb meaning 'glance' or 'take a quick look at something'. e.g. It's undeniably hard not to peek at the Christmas presents in your parents' closet.

Peak is a noun meaning the 'height' or 'top of something'. e.g. The mountain peak became surrounded by clouds as we ascended higher.

Pique is a verb meaning 'arouse or stimulate', as in pique your interest, or 'make someone angry or annoyed'. e.g. Even though she was only sixteen, he was piqued by her insightful reaction.

Examples of peek in a sentence

She kept sneaking a peek to see if he was watching.
- Seeing Stars by Diane Hammond
Risking a peek at Ethan, I add, “So we should probably stop sleeping together.”
- The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins
And though I am indeed cynical about Grinelda’s abilities, I peek from the kitchen.
- The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins
As I pass the spot where my father’s buried, I stop for a second and peek over the wall.
- The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

Examples of peak in a sentence

He’d never been able to resist a widow’s peak.
- Seeing Stars by Diane Hammond
This is sublime when summer tomatoes are at their peak.
- Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express: 404 Inspired Seasonal Dishes You Can Make in 20 Minutes Or Less by Mark Bittman
In the 1920s, at the industry's peak, 1.2 million men worked in British coal mines.
- Notes from a Small Island by Bill Byson
- 98.6 degrees: the art of keeping your ass alive by Cody Lundin; Russ Miller

Examples of pique in a sentence

I gave the chair another kick out of pique.
- Under Darkness by Savannah Russe
Benny turned to Audrey with a jerk of her shoulder that eloquently stated her pique at me.
- Under Darkness by Savannah Russe
The idea is for it merely to catch the eye, to pique the viewer’s curiosity without satisfying it.
- A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams by Michael Pollan

Test yourself

Choose the missing word in each question.

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