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. See illus. under imbrication.
verb (used with object), pinnacled, pinnacling.
to place on or as on a pinnacle.
to form a pinnacle on; crown.

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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pinnacle (ˈpɪnəkəl)
1.  the highest point or level, esp of fame, success, etc
2.  a towering peak, as of a mountain
3.  a slender upright structure in the form of a cone, pyramid, or spire on the top of a buttress, gable, or tower
4.  to set on or as if on a pinnacle
5.  to furnish with a pinnacle or pinnacles
6.  to crown with a pinnacle
[C14: via Old French from Late Latin pinnāculum a peak, from Latin pinna wing]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, from O.Fr. pinacle (1261), from L.L. pinnaculum "gable," dim. of pinna "peak, point," often confused with penna "wing, feather." Fig. use is attested from c.1400.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Pinnacle definition

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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Encyclopedia Britannica


in architecture, vertical ornament of pyramidal or conical shape, crowning a buttress, spire, or other architectural member. A pinnacle is distinguished from a finial by its greater size and complexity and from a tower or spire by its smaller size and subordinate architectural role. A tower may be decorated with pinnacles, each one capped by a finial.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
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.
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Images for pinnacle
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