How to Spell Peek — a Quick Spelling Guide

Homophones are words pronounced the same (or similar) but written differently with different meanings. This brings us to today’s article’s topic, which is peek. Or is it peak? Or is it pique? Which one is correct?

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    How to spell peek? Which one should we be using under which circumstances? In this post, we will go through all of these three words and explain the difference between them.

    If you have trouble with either of these three words, keep reading until the end!

    What Does Peek Mean?

    What’s the correct way to write these words? Is it peek, peak, or pique? Well, the right answer is all three of them! They are separate words that happen to have the same pronunciation (homophone).

    All three have separate meanings, and they can’t be used interchangeably. This is why it is important to learn the meaning of all of them so that you don’t use them incorrectly. Let’s go through them one by one.

    Peek

    a white and brown cat with green eyes peeking over the sofa.
    Photo by Ashley Anthony on Unsplash

    First, we learn the concept of peek. Peek involves looking in a quick fashion. It can also mean looking through a small space. It is synonymous with the word glance.

    Depending on the context, peek can be a verb or a noun. Let us show what we mean:

    • Quickly, peek inside that cabinet for the keys.
    • Take a peek inside that cabinet for the keys.

    We’ve known this word for over four centuries in peekaboo, a game for amusing babies. Another phrase we use this word is the phrase sneak peek; many people use it for upcoming forms of entertainment.

    Peak

    Peak, also like peek, can be both a noun and a verb. 

    Peak (past tense peaked) signifies “to reach the highest level of activity, development, or popularity,” as in “The sector peaked in the 1970s.” Nowadays, we use peak as an adjective for a point of saturation.

    On the other hand, peak as a noun means the highest point of something, such as the peak of a mountain.

    Some examples to help us remember:

    • He aims to reach the peak of the mountain, even though I told him that would be dangerous.
    • I haven’t even begun to peak. When I peak, all of Philadelphia will feel it!

    Pique

    Pique is the most interesting word out of the bunch. 

    The word comes from a French word meaning literally “to prick.” When people first encountered it in English, they were annoyed and distressed. Pique can still be used to mean in this fashion; however, most people probably won’t understand what you mean.

    These days, we use pique as a phrasal verb, with the words interest or curiosity. When you use pique with these words, it means “it made me curious” or “it interested me.”

    Let’s take a look at some examples:

    • When I heard Susan was also taking that class, it piqued my interest.
    • As teachers, we shouldn’t give answers straight away. Instead, we should pique their curiosity so that they look for the answer themselves.

    How to Spell Peek?

    The pronunciation of all these words is almost the same. It is very common to confuse these three words with one another. Because of this, you have to remember how you should write them.

    Peek, synonymous with glance, has two “e”s.

    Peak, the highest point, has “ea” in the middle.

    Pique is a French word similar to technique. That’s why it ends with the –ique sound.

    Conclusion

    You’ve struggled to spell the word “peek” at some point in your life. Luckily, this article has explored everything you need to know to spell the word.

    There are three possible homonyms – it’s peek, peak, and pique. Seeing as there’s no difference in pronunciation, it’s probably best to just know all three.

    How to Spell Peek — a Quick Spelling Guide

    Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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