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13 Essential Literary Terms

pique1

[peek] /pik/
verb (used with object), piqued, piquing.
1.
to affect with sharp irritation and resentment, especially by some wound to pride:
She was greatly piqued when they refused her invitation.
2.
to wound (the pride, vanity, etc.).
3.
to excite (interest, curiosity, etc.):
Her curiosity was piqued by the gossip.
4.
to arouse an emotion or provoke to action:
to pique someone to answer a challenge.
5.
Archaic. to pride (oneself) (usually followed by on or upon).
verb (used without object), piqued, piquing.
6.
to arouse pique in someone:
an action that piqued when it was meant to soothe.
noun
7.
a feeling of irritation or resentment, as from a wound to pride or self-esteem:
to be in a pique.
8.
Obsolete. a state of irritated feeling between persons.
Origin
1525-1535
1525-35; < Middle French pique (noun), piquer (v.) < Vulgar Latin *piccare to pick1; see pickax, pike2, piqué
Related forms
unpiqued, adjective
Synonyms
1. offend, sting, nettle, vex, irritate, chafe. 2. affront. 3. stimulate, stir, prick, incite, goad.
Antonyms
1. please. 2. compliment.

pique2

[peek] /pik/
noun, Piquet.
1.
pic2 .

pique3

[pi-key, pee-] /pɪˈkeɪ, pi-/
noun, adjective
1.

piqué

[pi-key, pee-; French pee-key] /pɪˈkeɪ, pi-; French piˈkeɪ/
noun, plural piqués
[pi-keyz, pee-; French pee-key] /pɪˈkeɪz, pi-; French piˈkeɪ/ (Show IPA),
for 2.
1.
a fabric of cotton, spun rayon, or silk, woven lengthwise with raised cords.
2.
Ballet. a step in which the dancer steps onto the tip of the toe without bending the knee.
3.
ornamentation by means of punched or stippled patterns, sometimes inlaid with metal, ivory, tortoise shell, etc.
adjective
4.
(of glove seams and gloves) stitched through lapping edges.
5.
decorated with inlay:
a piqué box.
Also, pique.
Origin
1830-40; < French, past participle of piquer to quilt, prick; see pique1
Can be confused
peak, peek, pique, piqué.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for pique
  • Summer blockbuster season is months away, but there's plenty to pique young moviegoers' interest this spring.
  • Peck not only understands the fragile emotions of adolescents, he also knows what kind of characters will pique their interest.
  • But its pique is likely to be short-lived.
  • Still, there's plenty of strange and obscure trivia to pique surfers' interest.
  • He roars and even weeps in moments of minor pique, but big trouble leaves him quiet, collected and intent.
  • Although it would certainly pique some interest.
  • In a final fit of pique Sarah had all the fixtures and fittings removed from her apartments in the royal household.
  • Cotton pin stripes were cut into little smock shirts with white pique plackets, worn with crisp white cotton shorts.
  • The mystery, fraught with potential danger, only served to pique my interest.
  • Peculiarly, for such an historically dominant people, the English feel both superiority and pique at being overlooked.
British Dictionary definitions for pique

pique1

/piːk/
noun
1.
a feeling of resentment or irritation, as from having one's pride wounded
verb (transitive) piques, piquing, piqued
2.
to cause to feel resentment or irritation
3.
to excite or arouse
4.
foll by on or upon. to pride or congratulate (oneself)
Word Origin
C16: from French, from piquer to prick, sting; see pick1

pique2

/piːk/
noun
1.
a score of 30 points made by a player from a combination of cards held before play begins and from play while his opponent's score is nil
verb
2.
to score a pique (against)
Word Origin
C17: from French pic, of uncertain origin

piqué

/ˈpiːkeɪ/
noun
1.
a close-textured fabric of cotton, silk, or spun rayon woven with lengthwise ribs
Word Origin
C19: from French piqué pricked, from piquer to prick
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 pique
n.

1530s, "fit of ill feeling," from Middle French pique "a prick, sting, irritation," noun of action from piquer (see pike (n.2)).

v.

"to excite to anger," 1670s, from French piquer "to prick, sting" (see pike (n.2)). Softened meaning "to stimulate, excite" is from 1690s. Related: Piqued; piquing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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