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 Another six Gilley chart-toppers followed on the label, and 10 more singles reached the pinnacle of the country chart during hia long stay at Epic Records. Chris Morris, Variety, 8 May 2022 Guillermo del Toro reached the pinnacle of Hollywood success by shooting Oscar winners and contenders like The Shape of Water and Nightmare Alley in Ontario. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Mar. 2022 The All-Star first baseman had just reached the pinnacle of his career, winning a World Series with an Atlanta Braves franchise that had drafted him, developed him and nurtured his rise as one of baseball’s biggest stars. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 19 Mar. 2022 Freeman reached the pinnacle in 2021 by helping the Braves win their first world championship in Atlanta since 1995 and fourth overall as a franchise. Wayne G. Mcdonnell, Jr., Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 Global dysfunction reached a pinnacle when President Donald Trump formally announced the U.S.’s intent to withdraw from the WHO. Lawrence O. Gostin, Scientific American, 1 Mar. 2022 What kind of comment is the pinnacle of all of those things? Cady Drell, Rolling Stone, 23 Apr. 2022 Supercars, and their even more extreme hypercar successors, are the pinnacle of what internal combustion can deliver. James Morris, Forbes, 23 Apr. 2022 Lenny really did play at Carnegie Hall in [1961 in a show that] was maybe the pinnacle of his career. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, 26 Mar. 2022 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

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pinnacle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pinnacle. Accessed 22 May. 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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