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[pin-uh-kuh l] /ˈpɪn ə kəl/
a lofty peak.
the highest or culminating point, as of success, power, fame, etc.:
the pinnacle of one's career.
any pointed, towering part or formation, as of rock.
Architecture. a relatively small, upright structure, commonly terminating in a gable, a pyramid, or a cone, rising above the roof or coping of a building, or capping a tower, buttress, or other projecting architectural member.
verb (used with object), pinnacled, pinnacling.
to place on or as on a pinnacle.
to form a pinnacle on; crown.
Origin of pinnacle
1300-50; Middle English pinacle < Middle French < Late Latin pinnāculum gable, equivalent to Latin pinn(a) raised part of a parapet, literally, wing, feather (see pinna) + -āculum; see tabernacle
2. apex, acme, summit, zenith. 3. needle.
2. base. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pinnacle
  • This is the pinnacle of his career and he won't win another major.
  • Surely, we have now reached the pinnacle of human communication.
  • The Olympics are the pinnacle, and skaters devote their entire lives to those two weeks.
  • Pure art and music were very important to the Greeks, and some believe it helped raise their civilization to a high pinnacle.
  • At the pinnacle of these moments, there is a sub-moment.
  • This recital shows Horowitz at the absolute pinnacle of his technique.
  • But for envious fellow etymologists it was the pinnacle of his career.
  • This is education, treat it like the pinnacle of humanity that it is.
  • He had worn the uniform, known war, and subsequently reached the political pinnacle.
  • Above them a pinnacle of coral twisted nearly to the surface, lit from behind by the ship's lamps and the moon.
British Dictionary definitions for pinnacle


the highest point or level, esp of fame, success, etc
a towering peak, as of a mountain
a slender upright structure in the form of a cone, pyramid, or spire on the top of a buttress, gable, or tower
verb (transitive)
to set on or as if on a pinnacle
to furnish with a pinnacle or pinnacles
to crown with a pinnacle
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Late Latin pinnāculum a peak, from Latin pinna wing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pinnacle

c.1300, "mountain, peak, promontory," from Old French pinacle "top, gable" (13c.) and directly from Late Latin pinnaculum "peak, pinnacle, gable," diminutive of Latin pinna "peak, point," (see pin (n.1)). Figurative use is attested from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pinnacle in the Bible

a little wing, (Matt. 4:5; Luke 4:9). On the southern side of the temple court was a range of porches or cloisters forming three arcades. At the south-eastern corner the roof of this cloister was some 300 feet above the Kidron valley. The pinnacle, some parapet or wing-like projection, was above this roof, and hence at a great height, probably 350 feet or more above the valley.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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