“Peak” vs “Peek”: Main Differences & How to Use Both Correctly as a Writer

Many writers often confuse the words “peak” and “peek” due to their similar pronunciation and spelling. However, these two words have distinct meanings and are used in different contexts. Understanding the main differences between “peak” and “peek” is essential for writers to use them correctly in their writing.

The word “peak” refers to the top or highest point of something, whether it’s a mountain, a performance, or a level of activity. On the other hand, “peek” (noun) is “a look or a glance” and to peek (verb) means “to look”.

As a writer, knowing when to use “peak” to describe a summit or pinnacle, and when to use “peek” to describe a quick glance or glimpse, is crucial for conveying the intended meaning in your writing.

Let’s take a closer look at the two words so you will know when best to use them.

What Is The Meaning of Peak?

Peak is the verb you use to talk about reaching a maximum, or coming to a highest point, literally or figuratively.

As a noun, peak (referring to various pointed or projecting parts) is older and more common. And just as every mountain has a peak, thinking of the peak—the highest point—is the way to remember that peak is the verb for reaching the highest levels. Associating the “a” in peak with the “a” in maximum or with a capital “A” (the most mountain-like of letters) can be helpful.

READ ALSO: “Adopt” vs “Adapt”: Main Differences & How to Use Both Correctly as a Writer

What Is The Meaning of Peek?

Peek is a verb meaning ‘glance’ or ‘take a quick look at something’. e.g. It’s undeniably hard not to peek at the Christmas presents in your parents’ closet.

The word “peek” is also used in the phrase “sneak peek,” which may be confusing. We say “unhelpfully” because the “ea” in the first may make it difficult to recall the “ee” in the second. Our suggestion to you: remember that you peek to see.

Just like peak and peek, there and their is one word that confuses writers, check out this article on When to Use There and Their in sentences

When to Use Peak in a Sentence

Using “Peak”

If something has a physical, metaphorical, or numerical summit, use the word “peak” to describe it.
“Peak” refers to accomplishing the highest point or level possible in anything.

Peak has the verb function peak, which means to achieve a maximum.

  • The football team reached its peak too late in the campaign. (Verb in the Past Tense)
    In addition, the adjective peak denotes being at or attaining the highest point.

As an illustration:

  • The seasonal influenza reached its peak in late February. (Descriptive).
  • While there are various uses for the term “peak” in sentences, they all allude to a steep incline or the top of something.

READ ALSO: When To Use Too or To: Simplifying These Tricky Twins

When To Use “Peek” in a Sentence

Use the word “peek” to describe the act of glancing quickly, usually in private.

Think of “peek” as a stealthy, fleeting note or gaze.

Peek can be used as a noun to denote a quick glance.

As an illustration:

  • At first peek, the children seemed to be behaving well together. (Noun)

Nevertheless, the word peek is more frequently used as a verb.

Related Post: When To Use A Semicolon vs Colon: Breaking Down Semicolons vs. Colons In Everyday Writing

Examples of Sentences With Peak vs Peek


  • She peeked through the curtains to see who was at the door.
  • The child snuck a quick peek at his birthday presents while his parents weren’t watching.
  • The mail carrier peeked around the gate, searching for the vicious dog.
  • Driven by curiosity, the toddler peeked through the TV stand window.
  • Swiftly and secretly, the woman peeked into the box holding her birthday present


  • The hikers finally reached the mountain’s peak after a tough climb.
  • The company’s sales peaked during the holiday season.
  • LendingTree mentioned that the smallest drops in home searches from 2020 peaks were in
  • Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, and Austin, Texas.
  • The steep peak of the gables gave the house a gloomy appearance.
  • They hiked to the mountain’s peak.
  • She earned national recognition at the peak of her career.

Semicolons and colons are quite similar, check out our article to see When To Use A Semicolon vs Colon In Everyday Writing

What Is The Difference Between Peak and Peek

To show the distinction between “peak” vs “peek,” let’s look at some sentences:

Peak: The company’s sales peaked during the holiday season, marking their highest point of the year.
Peek: The child took a quick peek at his birthday presents when his parents weren’t looking.

See how “peak” signifies reaching the highest level of sales, while “peek” describes a brief, sneaky glance at the presents?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between peek and peak?

While “peek” is often used in informal contexts, it can be used in formal writing when describing discreet glances or quick observations.

How do you use peak in a sentence?

Prices reach a peak during August. Beat the egg whites until they are strong enough to form firm peaks. We saw a victory by an athlete at the very peak of her profession. He seems to have reached the peak of his tennis career.

Can “peek” be used in formal writing?

While “peek” is often used in informal contexts, it can be used in formal writing when describing discreet glances or quick observations.

Are there other words that sound like “peak” or “peek”?

Words like “pique” and “peak” may sound similar but vary in meaning. “Pique” means to arouse interest or curiosity.


By distinguishing between “peak” vs “peek,” you can enhance your writing and avoid common errors. Always remember that “peak” refers to the highest point or maximum level, while “peek” describes a brief, curious look.

With this knowledge, you can articulate your thoughts more accurately and ensure your readers understand your intent. Keep these distinctions in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to mastering their usage.


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