Take a sneak peek at the correct ways to spell and use peak, peek, and pique.
Peak means to reach a highest degree or maximum; to rise or extend into a peak or point; to form, or appear as, a peak: He has reached the peak of his career. The hiker’s goal was to reach the mountain’s peak on the third day of her journey.
Peek means to look slyly, or with the eyes half closed, or through a crevice; to peep; to be only slightly, partially visible, as if peering out from a hiding place: The gift is a surprise, so don’t peek!
When writing the phrase ‘sneak peek,’ people often mistakenly use the word ‘peak’ instead of ‘peek.’ It’s easy to understand why this happens, because the spelling of ‘peak’ is similar to ‘sneak,’ but ‘peek’ is the correct word to use. Keep those sly mountaintops out of your writing and be sure you use ‘sneak peek’ correctly!
Pique is most commonly used as a verb, meaning to stimulate interest of curiosity: The article about global warming piqued my interest. In an attempt to pique your curiosity about puppy adoption, I’ll show you this cute video.
Pique also means a feeling of irritation or resentment resulting from a slight, especially to one’s pride or to feel irritated or resentful. However, it’s most frequently confused with ‘peek’ and ‘peak’ when used in the first way.
To learn more about confusing word pairs, read this blog post about other words that writers often confuse.