1

pique

noun \ ˈpēk \

Definition of pique

: a transient feeling of wounded vanity : resentment
  • a fit of pique

Examples of pique in a Sentence

  1. And yet the democracy flourishing in Taiwan has been greeted in other parts of the Chinese-speaking world with a certain pique, and even with hostility. —Ian BurumaNew Republic3 Apr. 2000
  2. … when a beast that weighs 1,200 pounds goes crazy with some kind of stupid pique or jealousy in a room not much bigger than the handicapped stall in the Denver airport men's room, bad things will happen … —Hunter S. ThompsonRolling Stone15 Dec. 1994
  3. He hit balls toward the umpire's chair and out of the stadium: he spat water toward the umpire on changeovers; and in still greater fits of pique, he broke three rackets. —Jamie DiazSports Illustrated2 Mar. 1987
  4. After a moment of pique, the senator responded calmly to his accusers.

  5. He slammed the door in a fit of pique.

Origin and Etymology of pique

see 2pique

Synonym Discussion of pique

offense, resentment, umbrage, pique, dudgeon, huff mean an emotional response to or an emotional state resulting from a slight or indignity. offense implies hurt displeasure.
    • takes deep offense at racial slurs
resentment suggests lasting indignation or ill will.
    • harbored a lifelong resentment of his brother
umbrage may suggest hurt pride, resentment, or suspicion of another's motives.
    • took umbrage at the offer of advice
pique applies to a transient feeling of wounded vanity.
    • in a pique I foolishly declined the invitation
dudgeon suggests an angry fit of indignation.
    • stormed out of the meeting in high dudgeon
huff implies a peevish short-lived spell of anger usually at a petty cause.
    • in a huff he slammed the door

2

pique

verb \ ˈpēk \

Definition of pique

piqued; piquing
transitive verb
1 : to arouse anger or resentment in : irritate
  • what piques linguistic conservatives
  • —T. H. Middleton
2 a : to excite or arouse especially by a provocation, challenge, or rebuff
  • sly remarks to pique their curiosity
b : pride
  • he piques himself on his skill as a cook

Examples of pique in a Sentence

  1. The first chorus … stirred my heart, the second piqued my sense of camp and the rest of them had me checking my watch. —David GatesNewsweek4 Mar. 2002
  2. The posthumous revelation of Cheever's alcoholism, numerous infidelities and bisexuality may have piqued interest precisely because he presented himself so earnestly as the Man in the Brooks Brothers Suit. —Mary GordonNew York Times Book Review6 Oct. 1991
  3. Some environments worry that the natural behavior patterns of whales are being altered by tourist boats that pique the animals' curiosity. —Jack McCallumSports Illustrated21 Aug. 1989
  4. In case your interest is being piqued just an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny … bit, the Davis Cup will confuse you totally by calling every competition between contending teams a "tie." —Frank DefordSports Illustrated11 Apr. 1988
  5. Brightly colored objects pique a baby's interest.

  6. her seat companion piqued her by repeatedly poking her in the ribs

Origin and Etymology of pique

French piquer, literally, to prick — more at pike

Synonym Discussion of pique

provoke, excite, stimulate, pique, quicken mean to arouse as if by pricking. provoke directs attention to the response called forth.
    • my stories usually provoke laughter
excite implies a stirring up or moving profoundly.
    • news that excited anger and frustration
stimulate suggests a rousing out of lethargy, quiescence, or indifference.
    • stimulating conversation
pique suggests stimulating by mild irritation or challenge.
    • that remark piqued my interest
quicken implies beneficially stimulating and making active or lively.
    • the high salary quickened her desire to have the job

3

piqué

noun pi·qué \ pi-ˈkā , ˈpē-ˌkā \
variants: or pique

Definition of piqué

1 : a durable ribbed clothing fabric of cotton, rayon, or silk
2 : decoration of a tortoiseshell or ivory object with inlaid fragments of gold or silver

Origin and Etymology of piqué

French piqué, from past participle of piquer to prick, quilt

PIQUE Defined for English Language Learners

pique

noun

Definition of pique for English Language Learners

  • : a sudden feeling of annoyance or anger when someone has offended you


pique

verb

Definition of pique for English Language Learners

  • : to cause (curiosity or interest)

  • : to make (someone) annoyed or angry


PIQUE Defined for Kids

pique

verb \ ˈpēk \

Definition of pique for Students

piqued; piquing
1 : to stir up : excite
  • The package piqued my curiosity.
2 : to make annoyed or angry


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