Peek, peak, and pique are homophones, meaning that they sound exactly alike while they have different meanings and uses. English is brimming with homophones, some of the most commonly used ones being to, too, and two; and there, their, and they’re.
Because you probably use peek, peak, and pique considerably less frequently than these other very commonly used homophones I have listed here, you may find yourself scratching your head each time the occasion rises to write one. So let’s break down each word below, and go over some tips and tricks you can use to remember whether the correct phrase is peeked, peaked, or piqued my interest.
Peek: Meaning and Use
The word peek is a noun that means “a quick glance.” It can also be used as a verb to mean “to look quickly.”
Commonly used phrases with the word peek are:
- Sneak peek
- Take a peek
Examples of Peek in a Sentence:
As a noun – A peek into the man’s closet revealed his extensive collection of Nike sneakers.
As a verb – The actor peeked outside the curtain to get a glimpse of the theater filled with people.
To answer our primary question: It is not correct to write “peeked my interest.”
Peak: Meaning and Use
The word peak is a noun that means the maximum point or degree of something. Peak can also be used as a verb to describe reaching this maximum height or point.
Commonly used phrases with the word peak are:
- Peak visiting hours
- Peak fitness
- Mountain peak
Examples of Peak in a Sentence:
As a noun – The crew took two days to climb to the peak of Mount Rainier.
As a verb – Some people think that Michael Jackson’s career peaked when he was just a child.
Again, to single out our primary question: It is not correct to write “peaked my interest.”
Pique: Meaning and Use
The word pique is a verb that means to arouse or provoke. A lesser-used form of the word pique is as a noun, when it means a feeling of displeasure or irritation.
The most commonly used phrase with the word pique is:
- Piqued my interest
Examples of Pique in a Sentence:
Noun – I was piqued when my doorbell rang as I was sitting down to eat dinner.
Verb – The movie review piqued my interest in seeing the new Star Wars film.
So here it is—the answer to our pressing question. It is correct to write “piqued my interest.”
Tricks for Remembering Peek, Peak, and Pique
The word PEEK has the same meaning as the word PEER.
The letter A in the word PEAK forms the shape of a mountain.
When someone PIQUES your interest, you will ask them a QUESTION.
Susan is an English educator, editor, and writer who has enjoyed working within these fields since 2004. Her experience includes teaching at the high school and adult continuing education levels, and writing and editing for multiple regional publications, including Wrightsville Beach Magazine and Encore Magazine. Today she is a copywriter and editor for CastleBranch Inc., as well as editor in chief for the company’s internal e-magazine. A Southern transplant who moved from Ohio to North Carolina, she has embraced the word “y’all” and can tell you how she likes her grits. Check out her official website.