• WordNet 3.6
    • v peak to reach the highest point; attain maximum intensity, activity "That wild, speculative spirit peaked in 1929","Bids for the painting topped out at $50 million"
    • n peak a brim that projects to the front to shade the eyes "he pulled down the bill of his cap and trudged ahead"
    • n peak the top or extreme point of something (usually a mountain or hill) "the view from the peak was magnificent","they clambered to the tip of Monadnock","the region is a few molecules wide at the summit"
    • n peak the highest point (of something) "at the peak of the pyramid"
    • n peak the most extreme possible amount or value "voltage peak"
    • n peak a V shape "the cannibal's teeth were filed to sharp points"
    • n peak the highest level or degree attainable; the highest stage of development "his landscapes were deemed the acme of beauty","the artist's gifts are at their acme","at the height of her career","the peak of perfection","summer was at its peak","...catapulted Einstein to the pinnacle of fame","the summit of his ambition","so many highest superlatives achieved by man","at the top of his profession"
    • n peak the period of greatest prosperity or productivity
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Wham-O manufactured twenty-thousand hula-hoops a day at the peak of hula-hoop popularity in 1958
    • Peak A point; the sharp end or top of anything that terminates in a point; as, the peak, or front, of a cap. "Run your beard into a peak ."
    • Peak (Naut) The extremity of an anchor fluke; the bill.
    • Peak (Naut) The narrow part of a vessel's bow, or the hold within it.
    • Peak The top, or one of the tops, of a hill, mountain, or range, ending in a point; often, the whole hill or mountain, esp. when isolated; as, the Peak of Teneriffe. "Silent upon a peak in Darien."
    • Peak (Naut) The upper aftermost corner of a fore-and-aft sail; -- used in many combinations; as, peak-halyards, peak-brails, etc.
    • Peak To achieve a maximum of numerical value, intensity of activity, popularity, or other characteristic, followed by a decline; as, the stock market peaked in January; his performance as a pitcher peaked in 1990; sales of the XTX model peaked at 20,000 per year.
    • Peak To acquire sharpness of figure or features; hence, to look thin or sickly. "Dwindle, peak , and pine."
    • Peak To pry; to peep slyly.
    • v. t Peak (Naut) To raise to a position perpendicular, or more nearly so; as, to peak oars, to hold them upright; to peak a gaff or yard, to set it nearer the perpendicular.
    • Peak To rise or extend into a peak or point; to form, or appear as, a peak. "There peaketh up a mighty high mount."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The kangaroo rat can cover ground at a rate of 17 feet per second. It can leap as much as 18 inches straight up and can switch directions at the peak of its jump.
    • n peak A projecting point; the end of anything that terminates in a point.
    • n peak Specifically— A projecting part of a head-covering; the leather vizor projecting in front of a cap.
    • n peak The high sharp ridge-bone of the head of a setter-dog.
    • n peak Same as pee.
    • n peak A precipitous mountain; a mountain with steeply inclined sides, or one which is particularly conspicuous on account of its height above the adjacent region, or because more or less isolated. Those parts of the crest of a mountain-range which rise higher than other parts near them, especially if somewhat precipitous, are often called peaks.
    • n peak Nautical: The upper corner of a sail which is extended by a gaff; also, the extremity of the gaff. See cut under gaff.
    • n peak The contracted part of a ship's hold at the extremities, for ward or aft. The peak forward is called the forepeak; that aft, the after-peak. Also spelled peek.
    • peak To rise upward as a peak.
    • peak Nautical, to raise (a gaff) more obliquely to the mast.
    • peak To look sickly; be or become emaciated.
    • peak To make a mean figure; sneak.
    • peak An obsolete spelling of peek.
    • n peak See peag.
    • n peak The maximum of a load-curve.
    • n peak In mech., a heavy load; the heaviest load (on an engine or generator): so called because a peak or protruding point is formed in the line traced by the point of a recording dynamometer at the time of the heavy load or of a maximum load. See load, 8, and peak-load.
    • n peak In turpentining, the angle formed by the meeting of the two streaks on the face.
    • n peak [capitalized] A name applied to a village at one of the corners or extreme boundaries of a township: as, Derry Peak, on the eastern boundary of Derry.
    • peak Pertaining or relating to the high point in the diagram from a recording meter, due to a peak or heavy load. See peak, n., 4 and 5.
    • peak To accentuate.
    • peak Of a whale, to raise (the tail or flukes) high in the air when making a perpendicular dive: this act is called by the whalers peaking the flukes. T. Beale, Nat. Hist. Sperm Whale, p. 44.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The world's highest mountain, even higher than Mt.Everest is Mauna Koa an underwater mountain which rises 33,476 feet and has its peak on the island of Hawaii.
    • n Peak pēk a point: the pointed end of anything: the top of a mountain:
    • v.i Peak to rise upward in a peak: to look thin or sickly
    • v.t Peak (naut.) to raise the point (of a gaff) more nearly perpendicular
    • n Peak pēk (naut.) the upper outer corner of a sail extended by a gaff or yard, also the extremity of the gaff
    • ***


  • Gilbert K. Chesterton
    “One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.”
  • Charles A. Garfield
    Charles A. Garfield
    “Peak performers see the ability to manage change as a necessity in fulfilling their missions.”
  • Henry Ward Beecher
    “We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.”
  • Charles A. Garfield
    Charles A. Garfield
    “The fact is, the difference between peak performers and everybody else are much smaller than everybody else thinks.”
  • Thomas Wentworth Higginson
    Thomas Wentworth Higginson
    “Great men are rarely isolated mountain-peaks; they are the summits of ranges.”
  • J. August Strindberg
    “Happiness consumes itself like a flame. It cannot burn for ever, it must go out, and the presentiment of its end destroys it at its very peak.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. pek, AS. peac, perh of Celtic origin; cf. Ir. peac, a sharp-pointed thing. Cf. Pike
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
M. E. pec—Ir. peac, a sharp thing. Cf. Beak, Pike.


In literature:

On a peak of one of the highest mountains in the vicinity is a gigantic cross.
"Birdseye Views of Far Lands" by James T. Nichols
Great snowy peaks rose on all sides.
"The Trail of the Goldseekers" by Hamlin Garland
Long's Peak is not only one of the most scenic of the peaks in the Rocky Mountains, but it is probably the most rugged.
"Wild Life on the Rockies" by Enos A. Mills
A late moon climbed out of the east and scudded up the sky, silvering the distant peaks.
"Rimrock Trail" by J. Allan Dunn
Each sinks 11,000 feet below the summit of the loftiest peak on its encircling wall.
"Pleasures of the telescope" by Garrett Serviss
The smoothness of the eternal snow glows like a silver shield on the breast of the giant peak.
"Round the Wonderful World" by G. E. Mitton
I know the roof was poor, for one morning I awoke to find a miniature peak of snow on the floor at my bedside.
"A Son of the Middle Border" by Hamlin Garland
To the west the purple peaks of the Rampart range are visible.
"They of the High Trails" by Hamlin Garland
Even if you got off that, all you'd have to do would be to keep headed for Split Peak.
"Out of the Depths" by Robert Ames Bennet
With him, she stared out at the great gray peaks closing in about them without recognizing a friend among them.
"The Innocent Adventuress" by Mary Hastings Bradley
Beyond these foothills rose the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies.
"The Valley of Silent Men" by James Oliver Curwood
The grim, fantastic range soon appeared over the horizon, stabbing its saw-tooth peaks far into the sky.
"Loot of the Void" by Edwin K. Sloat
Neither of the trails to the peak is, for that matter.
"The Camp Fire Girls in the Mountains" by Jane L. Stewart
She took her way rapidly along the trail to the mountain, keeping as much as possible within the great shadows cast by the towering peaks.
"Nan of Music Mountain" by Frank H. Spearman
During the day we were continually sighting various little islands, as well as high mountain-peaks belonging to the more distant mainland.
"The Last Voyage" by Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
It is a long ridge rather than a peak, and steep precipices guard the upper portion.
"England, Picturesque and Descriptive" by Joel Cook
A cloud came through a defile of the peaks heavy as a blanket.
"The Cariboo Trail" by Agnes C. Laut
From every peak the eagles swooped upon the Mulgars.
"The Three Mulla-mulgars" by Walter De La Mare
Upon his neck and wrists hang strings of beads, peak and roenoke.
"The History of Virginia, in Four Parts" by Robert Beverley
Five hundred miles west of Calnogor lay a range of lofty mountains, whose peaks pierced the upper strata of cold air.
"The Goddess of Atvatabar" by William R. Bradshaw

In poetry:

The snow-clad peaks of rosy light
That meet his morning view,
The thwarting cliffs that bound his sight,
They bound his fancy too.
"Twenty-Second Sunday After Trinity" by John Keble
I am alone, as though I stood
On the highest peak of the tired gray world,
About me only swirling snow,
Above me, endless space unfurled;
"Alone" by Sara Teasdale
From that peak can it be
That I am fallen, fallen that was so high?
Or was that truly, surely I?
Who is it crawls here now, sad, uncontentedly?
"The Fall" by John Freeman
Ha, it cometh! Furrowing, flashing,
Red blood rushing o'er brown breast;
Peaks, and ridges, and domes, dashing
Foam on foam, and crest on crest!
"Lita of the Nile" by Richard Doddridge Blackmore
Unseen behind them sank the sun,
But flushed each snowy peak
A little while with rosy light
That faded slowly from the sight
As blushes from the cheek.
"Tales Of A Wayside Inn : Part 2. The Musician's Tale; The Ballad of Carmilhan - IV. " by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Its towering peaks towards us rolling,
All black from top to foot, it strained
To meet our car, if not with clashing
Of daggers, then with pouring rain.
"Here will be echoes in the mountains..." by Boris Pasternak

In news:

On the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, it peaked at number one on October 16, 1976, for one week, held the number-two spot for the following four weeks and remained in the Top 10 for a total of ten weeks.
Dehydrated hiker airlifted from Mailbox Peak near North Bend.
A 30-year-old Bothell man was evacuated by helicopter from Mailbox Peak Saturday afternoon, Aug 11, after he became too dehydrated to walk.
MORELS arrived a little late this year, but they are now at their peak, and cooks are happy.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks.
Big-band jazz may have peaked in popularity in the 1930s, but Patrick Williams is out to prove it can still be vital.
Sightseers walk along the Peak Trail, which meanders through lush vegetation but also opens up to offer many views of Hong Kong and Kowloon to the north.
There are trails of various lengths and levels of difficulty carved through the forest, leading up to peaks with stunning of the city below.
Peak oil/resource depletion by childofsol. Top headlines: 2 US climbers found dead on Peruvian peak.
According to data provided by Wolf, the Marine Corps has recorded 7,323 desertions since 2005, with the number peaking in 2008 with 1,491 deserters .
NREL's Energy-Saving DEVAP Air Conditioner Cuts Peak Power Loads.
Detroit's population has shrunk to less than half of what it was at its peak in the 1950s, leaving vacancy and decay.
Joshua trees near Castle Peaks Photo: Chris Clarke.
It can handle as much as 2 kW peak power across the full frequency range.

In science:

For each system size, we performed parabolic fits to the region of the peak to obtain h∗ (L) and the height of the peak, C max (L).
Specific-Heat Exponent of Random-Field Systems via Ground-State Calculations
Only data near the peaks is shown because the data away from the peaks had lower precision.
Specific-Heat Exponent of Random-Field Systems via Ground-State Calculations
The galaxies producing the β ≈ 1.5 peak seem to be the same ones responsible for the higher Tc peaks at 27–31 K.
The SCUBA Local Universe Galaxy Survey II. 450 micron data - evidence for cold dust in bright IRAS Galaxies
The model has a Boson-Peak which we argue can be considered as a prototype for materials with a Boson Peak frequency that decreases with lowering temperature.
Boson peak in an harmonic scalar model
Since the scattering intensity at the peak scales in temperature with Bose statistics, the peak has become known as the Boson peak (BP).
Boson peak in an harmonic scalar model
Since the scattering intensity at the peak scales in temperature with Bose statistics, the peak has become known as the Boson peak (BP).
Vibrations in glasses and Euclidean Random Matrix theory
For each system size, parabolic fits were performed in the region of the peak to obtain h∗ (L) and the height of the peak, C max (L).
Critical exponents of four-dimensional random-field Ising systems
The reason is probably the stronger finite-size dependence of the position of the susceptibility peak in comparison to the position of the “specific heat” peak, please compare Figs. 4 and 9.
Critical exponents of four-dimensional random-field Ising systems
The stellar velocity field shows the presence of a small counter-rotating core with a low velocity amplitude of about 20 km/s peak to peak.
Probing the stellar populations of early-type galaxies: the SAURON survey
In this region the data for IFC percolation peaks at λ = 0, similar to the way the solid curve for the uniform Euclidean case peaks in that region .
Structure and diffusion time scales of disordered clusters
One of the peaks is roughly aligned with the ma jor axis of the supercluster while the second peak is roughly 90◦ from the first .
General Relativity Requires Absolute Space and Time
This results in a broadening and decrease of the f n∗ (Sn ) peak which is weak enough to allow an increase of the gn (Yn ) = nf n∗ (Sn ) peak.
Broad distribution effects in sums of lognormal random variables
In terms of the pulse-peak PDF, the ensemble mean of the peak intensity is Savg ≡ Z dS S fS (S ).
Searches for Giant Pulses from Extragalactic Pulsars
We show that the low-energy peak can be explained in terms of synchrotron radiation, while the high energy peak is most plausibly produced by inverse Compton scattering.
The nuclear SED of NGC6251: a BL Lac in the center of an FR I radio galaxy
It might consist of a washed out peak from the harmonic oscillator spacing and of a peak around the origin from the Poisson distribution of the lifted degeneracies.
Quantum chaos and regularity in $\Phi^4$ theory