July 17, 2011
- pinnacle (noun)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : a slender tower generally coming to a point at the top2 : a high pointed peak3 : the highest point of achievement or development
- How do you use it?
- "On the edge of a jutting pinnacle, three or four hundred feet above him, there stood a creature somewhat resembling a sheep in appearance, but armed with a pair of gigantic horns." (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study In Scarlet)
- Are you a word wiz?
"Pinnacle" is the word used to mean "a high peak" in the Sherlock Holmes story we've quoted, but we detect other words that mean the same thing. See if you can pick out a synonym of "pinnacle" from the line up of suspects below.Elementary, my dear Watson: the answer is D! Like "pinnacle," "summit" can mean "the highest point," such as the summit of a mountain. Also like "pinnacle," it can refer to the highest point of achievement or development, for example, "the period that marked the summit of Egyptian culture." Likewise, the words "peak" and "apex" can be used to describe both a physical and a figurative high point. Other words that top this list include "acme," "culmination," and "climax," which all suggest the highest point of development that can be achieved.