pique

The verb pique means to make someone angry or annoyed. But when something piques your interest or curiosity, here the verb pique just means to arouse, stimulate, or excite.

Both the noun and verb are pronounced "pēk" and were borrowed from a French word meaning "a prick, irritation," from Old French, from piquer "to prick." So you can see how something that pricks you could make you both excited and angry. But it's frustrating––enough to make you want to storm away from learning vocab. That storming away, by the by, might be called a "fit of pique."

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: pique

1
nv
a sudden outburst of anger
cause to feel resentment or indignation
2
n
tightly woven fabric with raised cords
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: pique
1

n a sudden outburst of anger

Synonyms:
irritation, temper
Type of:
annoyance, chafe, vexation
anger produced by some annoying irritation

v cause to feel resentment or indignation

Synonyms:
offend
Type of:
anger
make angry
2

n tightly woven fabric with raised cords

Type of:
cloth, fabric, material, textile
artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers
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