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 or irritation," from Old French piquer, "to prick." So you can see how something that piques you could make you both excited and angry, perhaps even enough to storm away. That storming away, by the by, might be called a "fit of pique."

Definitions of pique
  1. verb
    call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)
    synonyms: arouse, elicit, enkindle, evoke, fire, kindle, provoke, raise
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    types:
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    strike a chord, touch a chord
    evoke a reaction, response, or emotion
    ask for, invite
    increase the likelihood of
    draw
    elicit responses, such as objections, criticism, applause, etc.
    rekindle
    arouse again
    infatuate
    arouse unreasoning love or passion in and cause to behave in an irrational way
    prick
    cause a sharp emotional pain
    fire up, heat, ignite, inflame, stir up, wake
    arouse or excite feelings and passions
    excite, shake, shake up, stimulate, stir
    stir the feelings, emotions, or peace of
    excite
    arouse or elicit a feeling
    anger
    make angry
    discomfit, discompose, disconcert, rattle, untune, upset
    cause to lose one's composure
    shame
    cause to be ashamed
    bruise, hurt, injure, offend, spite, wound
    hurt the feelings of
    overcome, overpower, overtake, overwhelm, sweep over, whelm
    overcome, as with emotions or perceptual stimuli
    interest
    excite the curiosity of; engage the interest of
    devastate
    overwhelm or overpower
    absorb, engage, engross, occupy
    consume all of one's attention or time
    clutch, get hold of, seize
    affect
    affront, diss, insult
    treat, mention, or speak to rudely
    ferment
    work up into agitation or excitement
    fuel
    stimulate
    arouse, excite, sex, turn on, wind up
    stimulate sexually
    affright, fright, frighten, scare
    cause fear in
    enervate, faze, unnerve, unsettle
    disturb the composure of
    dissolve
    cause to lose control emotionally
    combust
    cause to become violent or angry
    miff
    cause to be annoyed
    gall, irk
    irritate or vex
    exasperate, incense, infuriate
    make furious
    madden
    make mad
    offend
    cause to feel resentment or indignation
    bemuse, bewilder, discombobulate, throw
    cause to be confused emotionally
    abash, embarrass
    cause to be embarrassed; cause to feel self-conscious
    discountenance
    look with disfavor on
    anguish, hurt, pain
    cause emotional anguish or make miserable
    lacerate
    deeply hurt the feelings of; distress
    sting
    cause an emotional pain, as if by stinging
    enrage
    put into a rage; make violently angry
    thrill, tickle, vibrate
    feel sudden intense sensation or emotion
    afflict
    cause great unhappiness for; distress
    abase, chagrin, humble, humiliate, mortify
    cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of
    invite, tempt
    give rise to a desire by being attractive or inviting
    kill
    overwhelm with hilarity, pleasure, or admiration
    benight
    overtake with darkness or night
    knock out
    overwhelm with admiration
    stagger
    astound or overwhelm, as with shock
    lock
    hold fast (in a certain state)
    elate, intoxicate, lift up, pick up, uplift
    fill with high spirits; fill with optimism
    animate, enliven, exalt, inspire, invigorate
    heighten or intensify
    titillate
    excite pleasurably or erotically
    aggravate, exacerbate, exasperate
    exasperate or irritate
    fascinate, grip, spellbind, transfix
    render motionless, as with a fixed stare or by arousing terror or awe
    enthuse
    cause to feel enthusiasm
    type of:
    create, make
    make or cause to be or to become
  2. verb
    cause to feel resentment or indignation
    synonyms: offend
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    type of:
    anger
    make angry
  3. noun
    a sudden outburst of anger
    synonyms: irritation, temper
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    type of:
    annoyance, chafe, vexation
    anger produced by some annoying irritation
  4. noun
    tightly woven fabric with raised cords
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    type of:
    cloth, fabric, material, textile
    artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers
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