Simple Tips To Remember The Difference Between Peak, Peek, and Pique

Peak, Peek, and Pique: What is the Difference?

Years ago, there was an account on Twitter that automatically responded when people spelled ‘sneak peek’ as ‘sneak peak’. I’m kind of disappointed that it no longer exists (changing the world, one spelling tweet at a time is right up my streat… oops – street).

But there’s no doubt these tricky spellings are easy to confuse. Here are some top tips for remembering the difference between PEAK and PEEK… with PIQUE tossed in for good measure.

It is easy to remember that the PEAK is at the top or pinnacle of something. Just think of the A as the top of a mountain.

A picture of a mountain peak with the caption "Peak"

PEEK means a cheeky glance (or peep) – so you can think about the double E in CHEEKY, and the double E in PEEK – or like two eyes peeping.

A picture of a man peeking from behind a wall with the caption "Peek"

 

PIQUE means to evoke curiosity or to make someone angry. So you may do something in a fit of pique, but never in ‘a fit of peek’ or in ‘a fit of peak’ – although you need to be fit to climb a peak (sorry – couldn’t resist).

A picture of a woman sitting on a table pondering a question with the caption "pique curiosity"

Examples

Here are some examples of the three words being used in a sentence:

Peak:

He was thrilled to reach the peak of the mountain.

This promotion signified the peak of her career. (Peak used metaphorically)

Peek:

Robbie couldn’t resist and sneaked a peek at the pile of gifts under the Christmas tree.

She did her best to prevent the boy from peeking.

Pique:

The letter piqued her interest.

In a fit of pique, he ripped up the document.

Text Yourself!

  1. She risked another [__] and stared.
  2. Sarah, angered and in a fit of [__], tossed the book at him.
  3. They finally reached the [__] of the mountain.
  4. They saw the movie after their interest was [__] by the trailer.
  5. During rush hour is when traffic is at its [__].
  6. He [__] through the curtains.
  7. They decided not to [__] at the gifts because they’d get in trouble.
  8. The premier of their live video [__] at 6 million viewers.

Answers

  1. peek
  2. pique
  3. peak
  4. piqued
  5. peak
  6. peeked
  7. peek
  8. peaked

For more articles like this check out our “similar words” section here!


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