pinnacle

noun
pin·​na·​cle | \ˈpi-ni-kəl \

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 \

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

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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

Did You Know?

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

This opportunity to think through what the next chapter of design and luxury will mean at a brand that represents the pinnacle of luxury was always a goal in my wildest dreams. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "Virgil Abloh Is Louis Vuitton’s Newest Menswear Designer," 26 Mar. 2018 The win, a landmark victory against Serena Williams, catapulted her to the pinnacle of the sport. Vogue, "Tennis Star Garbiñe Muguruza on Living the Dream," 29 June 2018 But this year, the relations moved from what seemed like a dead stop to the pinnacle of diplomacy, a leadership summit. Anne Saker, Cincinnati.com, "President Trump on Otto Warmbier: 'Otto did not die in vain'," 12 June 2018 Since then, England has enjoyed long spells of uninterrupted success in the pinnacle of club football - with Real Madrid's opponents on Saturday, Liverpool, leading much of that, particularly during the transition of the late 70s and early 80s. SI.com, "Why Real Madrid's Galacticos Don't Deserve to Be Remembered as One of Europe's Greatest Ever Sides," 25 May 2018 Together, these two honors represent the pinnacle of IndyCar racing. Chapel Fowler, charlotteobserver, "In 2008, Will Power didn’t have a ride. He’s now the first N.C.-based Indy 500 winner.," 12 July 2018 Delica represents the pinnacle of off-road minivan, full 4WD running gear, diesel engine availability, and a manual transmission option. Devin Holody, Ars Technica, "A beginner’s guide to the world of weird and wonderful Japanese import cars," 26 Apr. 2018 Massive galaxies are considered to be at the pinnacle of galaxy formation because their growth relies on the destruction of smaller galaxies. Smithsonian, "Andean Solstice Celebrations Capture the Wondrous Churn of Spacetime," 22 June 2018 A thousand beautiful green pinnacles, over there on the far shore. Seth Kantner, Anchorage Daily News, "We’re failing in our relationship with nature – and with each other," 9 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At the start of 2015, Hollar's weight pinnacled at 678. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Surgery helped him lose almost 500 pounds. Now insurance won't help remove excess skin.," 4 Feb. 2018

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.

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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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Last Updated

22 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for pinnacle

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

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More Definitions for pinnacle

pinnacle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pinnacle

: a high mountain top

: the best or most important part of something : the point of greatest success or achievement

: a tower on the roof of a building that comes to a narrow point at the top

pinnacle

noun
pin·​na·​cle | \ˈpi-nə-kəl \

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

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