ac·​me | \ ˈak-mē How to pronounce acme (audio) \

Essential Meaning of acme

: the highest point of something He was struck down by illness at the acme [=height] of his fame. [=when he was most famous] His fame was at its acme.

Full Definition of acme

: the highest point or stage the acme of his fame also : something or someone that represents perfection of the thing expressed a system that is the acme of efficiency

Choose the Right Synonym for acme

summit, peak, pinnacle, climax, apex, acme, culmination mean the highest point attained or attainable. summit implies the topmost level attainable. at the summit of the Victorian social scene peak suggests the highest among other high points. an artist working at the peak of her powers pinnacle suggests a dizzying and often insecure height. the pinnacle of worldly success climax implies the highest point in an ascending series. the war was the climax to a series of hostile actions apex implies the point where all ascending lines converge. the apex of Dutch culture acme implies a level of quality representing the perfection of a thing. a statue that was once deemed the acme of beauty culmination suggests the outcome of a growth or development representing an attained objective. the culmination of years of effort

Did you know?

In Greek, acme meant a mountain peak, but in English we hardly ever use it in the physical sense. Instead we speak of someone's new job as the acme of her career, or of a certain leap as the acme of classical dance technique. In old Road Runner cartoons, the Acme Company is the provider of every ingenious device imaginable. But the word can't always be taken quite literally as a brand or company name; it's possible, for instance, that something called the Acme Bar & Grill may not be the absolutely highest and best example of a bar and grill. And don't confuse acme with acne, the skin disorder—even though both actually come from the same word.

Examples of acme in a Sentence

His fame was at its acme. the acme of their basketball season was their hard-won victory over last year's state champs
Recent Examples on the Web The acme of the NFT market — or the height of its delirium, depending on your point of view — is probably Beeple. New York Times, 12 May 2021 The Nobel Prizes for Physics, Chemistry and Medicine are the acme of scientific achievement -- honoring great minds and life-changing discoveries. Katie Hunt, CNN, 2 Oct. 2020 Another indication of Schwartz’s particular views on photography is that the entire show focuses on work in black-and-white, which for him was the acme of the medium. Steven Litt, cleveland, 9 Feb. 2020 But the real emotional acme of today’s Small Group occurs when Andrew takes the floor. Barrett Swanson, Harper's magazine, 28 Oct. 2019 Seizing the castle The Akwamu Empire (1600-1730), at its acme, controlled a territory extending 200 miles along the coast and 100 miles into the interior, with Nyanaose as its capital. Rachel Ama Asaa Engmann, Quartz Africa, 13 July 2019 For real foodies, though, a robot that can turn its hand to almost anything culinary would be the acme of automation. The Economist, 12 July 2018 In practice, social democracy has probably reached its acme in the Nordic countries, where the left has ruled governments for most of last half-century. John B. Judis, New Republic, 24 Aug. 2017 Under the radar is the acme of cool and up-and-coming is the rep to have. Sarah Lindig, Harper's BAZAAR, 4 Sep. 2014

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acme.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of acme

1560, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for acme

borrowed from Greek akmḗ "point, highest point, culmination," from ak- (going back to Indo-European *h2eḱ- "pointed") + -mē, noun suffix — more at edge entry 1

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acme harrow

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Cite this Entry

“Acme.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for acme


ac·​me | \ ˈak-mē How to pronounce acme (audio) \

Medical Definition of acme

: the highest or most critical point or stage (as of growth or development)

More from Merriam-Webster on acme

Nglish: Translation of acme for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of acme for Arabic Speakers


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