Peek vs. Peak: What’s the Difference?

The words “peek” and “peak” are homophones, meaning they share the same pronunciation. But the similarity ends there, as peek vs. peak have very different meanings. If you need help keeping track of these words, remember that peek is to look without being seen, whereas peak is the highest point. 

Let’s take a closer look at these words to understand what they mean and give some tips on how to use them properly.

What Is Peek?

Peek is derived from the Middle English word “pīkan,” which means “to look or peep.”It also means taking a quick look or glance at something. This word can be either a noun or a verb depending on context and usage. 

Examples

  • There is a sneak peek of the next movie installment after the credits. 
  • She gave the present a quick peek before wrapping it. 
  • I peeked out the window to see if it had stopped raining. 
  • A round of peek-a-boo will keep any toddler entertained for hours. 
  • The kids peeked through the small opening. 
  • Can I take a peek at our Christmas presents? 

What is Peak

The definition of the word “peak” is entirely different from “peek.” Peak (with the letter a instead of e) is the maximum or highest point. For instance, if a climber reached the top of a hill. If used as a verb, this word can also mean the highest point or maximum activity level. 

Aside from being a noun and a verb, the word “peak” can also be an adjective. 

Examples

  •  The mountain’s peak was shrouded in mist. 
  • The highways are jam-packed during peak hours. 
  • If you want team members to perform at their peak performance, you should compensate them well. 
  • He wants to stay in the city during the peak of his career. 
  • Many mountain climbers die trying to reach the peak of Mount Everest. 
  • The peak rush hour during the Christmas season is dreadful. 

The Difference Between Peak and Peek

picture showing the definition of peek and peak

The words “peak” and “peek” have two distinct differences – they have different spellings and meanings. With “peek,” you get two E’s between the letters P and K. On the other hand, you have the letters EA with peak. 

In terms of definition, “peek” is generally concerned with seeing, whereas “peak” is the highest point or level. 

Trick To Remembering The Difference

Sometimes it can take effort to know when to use peek vs. peak. Fortunately, there is a nifty trick you can use to remember the difference. 

A capital “A” is shaped like a mountain, and “peak” means reaching the highest point or intensity. Peek has two e’s as the word see, so it means to take a quick look. 

If you still have difficulties using the correct spelling, remember that you can also always use synonyms. 

Summary

Just like other homophones, “peek” vs. “peak” has different meanings. When you reach the “peak” of a mountainside, you have an A in it, just like the mountain does. Peek, like the word see, has two e’s. Speaking of homophones, let’s not forget the word “pique.” Unlike peek and peak, this word means to provoke interest or curiosity. 


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