Definition of pinnacle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpɪnək(ə)l/


1The most successful point; the culmination: he had reached the pinnacle of his career
More example sentences
  • Being rich, successful and at the pinnacle of your profession appears to be frowned upon if you are David Beckham.
  • Thackeray said the BJP had touched the pinnacle of success under Vajpayee's leadership and lamented that some ambitious leaders in the party were eyeing his place.
  • After working in the hospitality industry for 21 years, Gao has proved herself to be a person who reaches the pinnacle of success in whatever field she involves herself.
highest level, peak, height, high point/spot, summit, top, climax, crowning point, peak of perfection, apex, vertex, zenith, apogee, ascendancy, upper limit, acme, meridian
2A high, pointed piece of rock.
Example sentences
  • As we chugged along the vivid green Wuyang River towards Dragon King Gorge, thickly forested crags and pinnacles of rock rose high above.
  • A solid mass of white water surged around great pinnacles of rock, over a hundred feet below me.
  • The Pyramids of Zone may sound like a New Age cure - but these spindly pinnacles of soft rock, most of which have large boulders perched on top like small atomic explosions, are as Ice Age as they come.
peak, needle, crag, tor, summit, top, mountaintop, crest, apex, tip, vertex;
French aiguille, serac, puy;
North American  hoodoo
technical inselberg
2.1A small pointed turret built as an ornament on a roof.
Example sentences
  • The structure reminded Manda of a creepy haunted mansion she'd often seen in movies, the grouped chimneys and pinnacles, the sloping roof, the parapets and the oriel and quatrefoil windows.
  • Conical spires on top support pinnacles that enabled the towers to obtain the coveted height record.
  • At times, the flourish over the city of towers and spires, domes, cupolas and pinnacles has an insubstantial visionary quality, seeming detached from the sturdy fabric beneath.
turret, minaret, spire, belfry, obelisk, needle, pyramid, cone, finial, shikara, mirador
rare bartizan


[with object] literary
1Form the culminating point or example of.
Example sentences
  • Anybody who knows Jake's career knows that he pinnacled the liberal-media ladder a decade ago and then bounded to the top of a tower crane that's beyond politics.
2Set on or as if on a pinnacle.



Example sentences
  • With the help of computerized technology, it is slowly being restored to its former domed and pinnacled baroque shape.
  • A good orientation point is the pinnacled Scott Monument, dedicated to Scottish novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott, set in Princes Street Gardens.
  • Behind the stronghold, majestic pinnacled houses are guarded by a many-towered city-wall.


Middle English: from Old French, from late Latin pinnaculum, diminutive of pinna 'wing, point'.

  • panache from mid 16th century:

    Soldiers in the 16th century would often wear a tuft or plume of feathers in their helmets. This tuft or plume was the original panache, a word that goes back to Latin pinnaculum ‘little feather’ from pinna ‘feather, wing, pointed peak’. Men trying to give an impression of elegance or swagger would imitate the fashion, whose stylish associations gave rise to the modern sense, ‘flamboyant confidence’, in the late 19th century. Pinnaculum is also the source of pinnacle (Middle English), and pinna of a bird's pinion (Late Middle English), and of pen and pin.

Words that rhyme with pinnacle

clinical, cynical, dominical, finical, Jacobinical, rabbinical

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pin|na¦cle

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