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(pronounced peek)

Absent the French accent of sister word piqué (see DESIGN SPEAK for that definition), pique can act as either a verb or a noun. As the former, it means to irritate, offend and awaken bitterness in, especially by provocation. As the latter, it describes a feeling of resentment or injured pride.

Example: The architect’s pointed remarks about the overall direction of the project really piqued the rest of the design team and actually caused the project manager to storm off in a huff.