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peak1

[peek] /pik/
noun
1.
the pointed top of a mountain or ridge.
2.
a mountain with a pointed summit.
3.
the pointed top of anything.
4.
the highest or most important point or level:
the peak of her political career.
5.
the maximum point, degree, or volume of anything:
Oil prices reached their peak last year.
6.
a time of the day or year when traffic, use, demand, etc., is greatest and charges, fares, or the like are at the maximum:
Early evening is the peak on commuter railroads.
7.
the higher fare, charges, etc., during such a period:
If you fly during the Christmas holidays, you'll have to pay peak.
8.
Physics.
  1. the maximum value of a quantity during a specified time interval:
    a voltage peak.
  2. the maximum power consumed or produced by a unit or group of units in a stated period of time.
9.
a projecting point:
the peak of a man's beard.
11.
a projecting front piece, or visor, of a cap.
12.
Phonetics, nucleus (def 8a).
13.
Nautical.
  1. the contracted part of a ship's hull at the bow or the stern.
  2. the upper after corner of a sail that is extended by a gaff.
  3. the outer extremity of a gaff.
verb (used without object)
14.
to project in a peak.
15.
to attain a peak of activity, development, popularity, etc.:
The artist peaked in the 1950s.
verb (used with object)
16.
Nautical. to raise the after end of (a yard, gaff, etc.) to or toward an angle above the horizontal.
adjective
17.
being at the point of maximum frequency, intensity, use, etc.; busiest or most active:
Hotel rooms are most expensive during the peak travel seasons.
18.
constituting the highest or maximum level, volume, etc.; optimal; prime:
a machine running at peak performance.
Origin
1520-1530
1520-30; perhaps < Middle Low German pēk pick, pike
Related forms
peakless, adjective
peaklike, adjective
Synonyms
2, 4. pinnacle. 4. acme, zenith.
Antonyms
4. abyss, nadir.

peak2

[peek] /pik/
verb (used without object)
1.
to become weak, thin, and sickly.
Origin
1500-10; origin uncertain
Related forms
peakish, adjective
peakishly, adverb
peakishness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for peak
  • His priest dwells in a house on the highest peak of the mountain, where he keeps the winds bottled up in huge jars.
  • At the peak of the boom both the value of the collateral and the degree of leverage reach a peak.
  • World oil production is about to reach a peak and go into its final decline.
  • If anyone really knew when the housing market would bottom out or reach its peak, there would be no reason to speculate.
  • The real problem with peak oil is likely to be political and not economic.
  • The association now has 573 members, down from a peak of 584 in 2008.
  • Off peak electricity costs less than peak electricity.
  • Stone fruits, berries, and melons are at their best at the peak of summer.
  • Only one in ten people complete the five- to six-day trek to the peak.
  • These and other less familiar citrus varieties are at their seasonal peak now.
British Dictionary definitions for peak

peak

/piːk/
noun
1.
a pointed end, edge, or projection the peak of a roof
2.
the pointed summit of a mountain
3.
a mountain with a pointed summit
4.
the point of greatest development, strength, etc the peak of his career
5.
  1. a sharp increase in a physical quantity followed by a sharp decrease a voltage peak
  2. the maximum value of this quantity
  3. (as modifier) peak voltage
6.
Also called visor. a projecting piece on the front of some caps
7.
  1. See widow's peak
  2. the pointed end of a beard
8.
(nautical)
  1. the extreme forward (forepeak) or aft (afterpeak) part of the hull
  2. (of a fore-and-aft quadrilateral sail) the after uppermost corner
  3. the after end of a gaff
verb
9.
(transitive) (nautical) to set (a gaff) or tilt (oars) vertically
10.
to form or reach or cause to form or reach a peak or maximum
adjective
11.
of or relating to a period of highest use or demand, as for watching television, commuting, etc peak viewing hours, peak time
Derived Forms
peaky, peakish, adjective
Word Origin
C16: perhaps from pike², influenced by beak1; compare Spanish pico, French pic, Middle Low German pēk
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 peak
n.

"pointed top," 1520s, variant of pike (n.4) "sharp point." Meaning "top of a mountain" first recorded 1630s, though pike was used in this sense c.1400. Figurative sense is 1784. Meaning "point formed by hair on the forehead" is from 1833. According to OED, The Peak in Derbyshire is older than the word for "mountaintop;" e.g. Old English Peaclond, for the district, Pecsaetan, for the people who settled there, Peaces ærs for Peak Cavern; sometimes said to be a reference to an elf-denizen Peac "Puck."

v.

1570s, "to rise in a peak," from peak (n.). Figurative meaning "reach highest point" first recorded 1958. Related: peaked; peaking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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