Quick English: Peak, Pique, and Peek

Peak, Pique, and Peek


Have you ever heard two (or three) words that sound exactly the same but have different meanings? When you're first learning English, this can be a difficult hurdle to overcome, but the key lies in understanding what the word means and recognizing the correct usage based on the context of the sentence. So what’s the difference between peak, pique, and peek?

Peak and peek are often confused with each other – and then pique is frequently used incorrectly altogether! So,what do they mean?



The word peak is used when referring to the pointed top of a mountain, the highest level of something, or the best point of an activity.

How to use it:

               > Let’s climb to the highest mountain peak.

               > I’m at peak fitness and ready for the marathon.



The word pique is used to show a curiosity or interest. It can also represent a sudden feeling of annoyance or anger.

How to use it:

               > The photo piqued her curiosity.

               > The loud music from the bar next door always piques my roommate.



The word peek is used when describing the act of looking at something secretly. You can also use the term to refer to something that shows only partially, or is slightly visible.

How to use it:

               > Did you have a peek at the cupcakes Elina is making for the party?

               > Tonight we’re getting a sneak peek of the new fashion collection.


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