Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Architecture A small turret or spire on a roof or buttress.
  • n. A tall pointed formation, such as a mountain peak.
  • n. The highest point; the culmination. See Synonyms at summit.
  • transitive v. To furnish with a pinnacle.
  • transitive v. To place on or as if on a pinnacle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The highest point.
  • n. A tall, sharp and craggy rock or mountain.
  • n. An all-time high; a point of greatest achievement or success.
  • v. to put something on a pinnacle
  • v. to build or furnish with a pinnacle or pinnacles

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An architectural member, upright, and generally ending in a small spire, -- used to finish a buttress, to constitute a part in a proportion, as where pinnacles flank a gable or spire, and the like. Pinnacles may be considered primarily as added weight, where it is necessary to resist the thrust of an arch, etc.
  • n. Anything resembling a pinnacle; a lofty peak; a pointed summit.
  • transitive v. To build or furnish with a pinnacle or pinnacles.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To put a pinnacle or pinnacles on; furnish with a pinnacle or pinnacles.
  • To place on or as on a pinnacle.
  • n. A sharp point or peak; the very topmost point, as of a mountain.
  • n. In architecture, any relatively small structure (of whatever form, but commonly terminating in a cone or a pyramid) that rises above the roof or coping of a building, or caps a projecting architectural member, such as a buttress.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the highest level or degree attainable; the highest stage of development
  • n. (architecture) a slender upright spire at the top of a buttress of tower
  • n. a lofty peak
  • v. raise on or as if on a pinnacle
  • v. surmount with a pinnacle

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin pinnāculum, diminutive of Latin pinna, feather.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French pinacle, pinnacle, from Late Latin pinnaculum ("a peak, pinnacle"), double diminutive of Latin pinna ("a pinnacle"); see pin. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In the new theology this celestial pinnacle is occupied by The Market, which I capitalize to signify both the mystery that enshrouds it and the reverence it inspires in business folk.

    The Market as God

  • The word pinnacle does not quite express the force of the original.

    Barnes New Testament Notes

  • Formula 1 is often referred to as the pinnacle of motorsport, and this year's championship is 19 races long, starting with Australia back in March and finishing in Brazil at the end of November.

    Ars Technica

  • Looking back on the night he described as the pinnacle of his splendid mixed martial arts career so far, Georges St. Pierre said he could pinpoint the moment he knew for certain he had victory within his fearsome grasp.

    Las Vegas Sun Stories: All Sun Headlines

  • At sometime, probably when he was a child or a young man, he had read the word pinnacle, figured out its pronunciation for himself, and forever after -- although probably never using the word out loud -- thought of it as pinochle.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XIX No 1

  • This Portable Native Client project - aka PNaCl, pronounced 'pinnacle' - uses the Low-level Virtual Machine (LLVM) bitcode format.

    The Register

  • JIMMY BRADLEY, OWNER, THE RED CAT: The zenith, the pinnacle is the "New York Times" restaurant critic.

    CNN Transcript Oct 17, 2009

  • The pinnacle is the ever-so-brief reference to The Invasion of the Body Snatchers that follows in the best traditions of the TV show.

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The pinnacle is a pagan religious icon.

    CNN Transcript May 22, 2006

  • Pedrito elevated his hand jerkily to help the idea of pinnacle, of fame.

    Nostromo: a Tale of the Seaboard

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Comments

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  • "The Unseen Essential" Author:James P. Gills,M.D. pg.73

    Fighting and elbowing our way to the pinnacle of our respective pile.

    November 1, 2010