The Meaning of Pinnacle: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of pinnacle? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word pinnacle, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word pinnacle mean?

According to the Collins English Dictionary, the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language and other English dictionaries, the word pinnacle is an adjective that refers to the highest stage of development or peak of perfection. This is a figurative use.

In architecture, this refers to a small turret, slender upright spire, or top of a buttress of tower that tapers into a pointed formation. An architectural member might refer to this part of a parapet as a superstructure of a building, or call this slender upright structure a towering peak at the coping of a building

The word pinnacle is three syllables – pin-na-cle, and the pronunciation of pinnacle is pɪnɪkəl. One can add the suffixed ing and ed to the end of pinnacle to make pinnacling (pin-na-cling) and pinnacled (pin-na-cled), which are adjectives.

If you are going to be traveling to another country that does not speak English, it is useful to know a translation of pinnacle. You can find this in something like a Spanish Dictionary or you can find many translations in one place on Word Sense. This list of transitions of pinnacle is very useful, and you may notice that some of these translations are cognates for pinnacle and look and sound a lot like it.  

  •  Spanish: cumbre‎ (fem.)
  •  Maori: karamata‎, karamatamata‎
  •  Italian: pinnacolo‎ (masc.), cima‎ (fem.), picco‎ (masc.), somma‎ (fem.)
  •  Armenian: գագաթնակետ‎
  •  Mandarin: 巔峰‎, 巅峰‎ (diānfēng)
  •  German: Gipfel‎ (masc.)
  •  Finnish: huippu‎, huippukohta‎
  •  Serbo-Croatian: vrh‎, vrhunac‎, врх‎ (masc.), врхунац‎ (masc.)
  •  Georgian: მწვერვალი‎
  •  Malay: puncak‎
  •  Japanese: 頂上‎ (ちょうじょう, chōjō), 頂点‎ (ちょうてん, chōten)
  •  French: cime‎
  •  Tagalog: karurukan‎
  •  Dutch: top‎ (masc.), spits‎ (masc.)
  •  Russian: пик‎ (masc.), вы́сшая то́чка‎ (fem.), верши́на‎ (fem.)
  •  Czech: vrchol‎, vrcholek‎ (masc.)

What is the origin of the word pinnacle?

According to Etymonline, the word pinnacle has been used since 1300 as the Middle English pinacle. This comes from the Middle French and Old French pinacle, which comes from the Late Latin pinnaculum or Late Latin pinnāculum gable, a diminutive of Latin pinna wing affixed to the Latin āculum. This word is of Indo-European roots.

What are synonyms and antonyms of pinnacle?

There are many different words that a person could choose to use in place of the word pinnacle. These are called synonyms, which are words that have the same definition as another given word or phrase. Learning synonyms is a great way to expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms of pinnacle is provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  lofty peak
  •  acme
  •  extreme
  •  climax
  •  high point
  •  meridian
  •  brow
  •  height
  •  prominence
  •  highlight
  •  needle
  •  tor
  •  elevation
  •  vertex
  •  apex
  •  steeple
  •  summit
  •  gable
  •  top
  •  highest point
  •  peaks
  •  prime
  •  finial
  •  crag
  •  tiptop
  •  tabernacle
  •  heights
  •  highest level
  •  tip
  •  pyramid
  •  heyday
  •  spire
  •  orgasm
  •  tall tower
  •  summits
  •  obelisk
  •  cap
  •  capstone
  •  inselberg
  •  superlative
  •  turret
  •  crest
  •  maximum
  •  aiguille
  •  culmination
  •  crown
  •  end
  •  salad days
  •  zenith
  •  extremity
  •  peak
  •  apogee
  •  temple
  •  consummation
  •  minaret
  •  mountaintop

There are also numerous different words that a person can use that mean the opposite of the word pinnacle. These are called antonyms, which are another great way to expand your English language vocabulary. This list of antonyms for pinnacle is also provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  eld
  •  bottom
  •  depose
  •  dumpiness
  •  winter of one’s life
  •  evening of one’s life
  •  dale
  •  foot
  •  anticlimax
  •  feet
  •  extremity
  •  plateau
  •  depth
  •  basin
  •  autumn years
  •  canyon
  •  evening of life
  •  dene
  •  abapical
  •  derivation
  •  etymon
  •  advancing years
  •  anility
  •  final period of one’s life
  •  basis
  •  nadir
  •  base
  •  seniority
  •  beginning
  •  winter of life
  •  rock bottom
  •  zero
  •  uncontrol
  •  surface level
  •  old age
  •  deepness
  •  final period of life
  •  meadow
  •  floor
  •  valley
  •  autumn of life
  •  depths
  •  cause
  •  agedness
  •  dip
  •  estate
  •  decline
  •  autumn of one’s life
  •  depression
  •  chair days

How can the word pinnacle be used in a sentence?

The word pinnacle can be used in many different ways in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions. You can also try making flashcards or a quiz for yourself to test your knowledge. Try using this new word of the day in a sentence today! You never know, it could become a new favorite. Below are several examples of using the word pinnacle in a sentence to help get your started.

At the height of her career, she was at the pinnacle of fame and the acme of beauty. She won the highest superlatives in her field, and was for all intents and purposes an unbeatable legend. 

He knew he had reached the pinnacle and summit of his ambition when he made it onto the cover of TIME magazine. Others wondered if he was only in the field of climate heath for the fame, but he tried to convince himself that this was not the case.

The artist’s gifts were beautiful landscapes and the pinnacle of beauty. The recipient hung them all over her home and loved to bask in the beautiful peacefulness that the pieces evoked.

The young woman was the pinnacle of school spirit. She was on the cheerleading squad and filled in for the mascot, she was the school representative at conferences all over the nation, and she was always expressing how much she loved and believed in the school, students, and teachers.

Overall, the word pinnacle means the peak of perfection or highest stage of development. This was originally used as an architectural term to refer to a tall, thin tower. It is now mostly used figuratively to refer to something that is at the top of its field. 


  1. Pinnacle synonyms – 595 Words and Phrases for Pinnacle | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Pinnacle definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  3. pinnacle: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  4. pinnacle | Origin and meaning of pinnacle | Online Etymology Dictionary
  5. Pinnacle antonyms – 80 Opposites of Pinnacle | Power Thesaurus