pinnacle

noun
pin·​na·​cle | \ ˈpi-ni-kəl How to pronounce pinnacle (audio) \

Definition of pinnacle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an upright architectural member generally ending in a small spire and used especially in Gothic construction to give weight especially to a buttress
2 : a structure or formation suggesting a pinnacle specifically : a lofty peak
3 : the highest point of development or achievement : acme

pinnacle

verb
pinnacled; pinnacling\ ˈpi-​ni-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce pinnacle (audio) \

Definition of pinnacle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to surmount with a pinnacle
2 : to raise or rear on a pinnacle

Illustration of pinnacle

Illustration of pinnacle

Noun

P pinnacle 1

In the meaning defined above

Choose the Right Synonym for pinnacle

Noun

summit, peak, pinnacle, climax, apex, acme, culmination mean the highest point attained or attainable. summit implies the topmost level attainable. at the summit of the Victorian social scene peak suggests the highest among other high points. an artist working at the peak of her powers pinnacle suggests a dizzying and often insecure height. the pinnacle of worldly success climax implies the highest point in an ascending series. the war was the climax to a series of hostile actions apex implies the point where all ascending lines converge. the apex of Dutch culture acme implies a level of quality representing the perfection of a thing. a statue that was once deemed the acme of beauty culmination suggests the outcome of a growth or development representing an attained objective. the culmination of years of effort

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Noun

Pinnacle is one of several words that aspire to both literal and figurative heights. Others include summit, peak, climax, apex, acme, and culmination. All of these can refer to the highest point of a mountain or structure, or the highest point attained or attainable over a person's lifetime, career, etc. When referring to part of a building, pinnacle describes a projection on top of a tower (as on a Gothic cathedral). The word derives via Anglo-French from Late Latin pinnaculum, meaning "small wing," a diminutive of pinna, meaning "wing or battlement." When used figuratively, pinnacle sometimes implies a dizzying and insecure height, such as that brought on by unexpected fame.

Examples of pinnacle in a Sentence

Noun a singer who has reached the pinnacle of success
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun My mother still views that school as the pinnacle of my education. Rivka Galchen, Harper’s Magazine , 18 Jan. 2022 Utah, on the other hand, regarded its first appearance in the Rose Bowl as the pinnacle for its program. Bill Rabinowitz, USA TODAY, 2 Jan. 2022 Utah, on the other hand, regarded its first appearance in the Rose Bowl as the pinnacle for its program. Bill Rabinowitz, USA Today, 2 Jan. 2022 Over the course of centuries, the modern office chair has emerged as the pinnacle of ergonomic comfort and support. Quartz Staff, Quartz, 6 Dec. 2021 After years of neutering the Cayman to protect the iconic 911 as the pinnacle of Porsche’s lineup, the German automaker finally unleashed the full potential of its mid-engine sports car with the newest GT4 RS model. Car and Driver, 25 Nov. 2021 Throughout history, both have taken turns as the pinnacle of good taste. Kyle Chayka, Town & Country, 20 Sep. 2021 Canadians also need to take a look at themselves and stop holding up home ownership as the pinnacle of success and adulthood. Katherine Singh, refinery29.com, 13 Sep. 2021 Unlike those of more traditional sports, skateboarding competitions are not seen as the pinnacle of achievement. Nic Dobija-nootens, The Atlantic, 5 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb One father, two sons, all coaching their teams to pinnacle moments of their seasons. Matt Goul, cleveland, 19 Mar. 2021 At the start of 2015, Hollar's weight pinnacled at 678. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, 4 Feb. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pinnacle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of pinnacle

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pinnacle

Noun

Middle English pinacle, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin pinnaculum small wing, gable, from Latin pinna wing, battlement

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Time Traveler for pinnacle

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The first known use of pinnacle was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near pinnacle

pinnace

pinnacle

Pinnacles National Monument

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Statistics for pinnacle

Last Updated

30 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pinnacle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pinnacle. Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for pinnacle

pinnacle

noun
pin·​na·​cle | \ ˈpi-nə-kəl How to pronounce pinnacle (audio) \

Kids Definition of pinnacle

1 : the peak of a mountain
2 : the highest point of development or achievement Winning the award was the pinnacle of her career.
3 : a slender tower generally coming to a narrow point at the top

More from Merriam-Webster on pinnacle

Nglish: Translation of pinnacle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pinnacle for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pinnacle

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