\ ˈā-ˌpeks How to pronounce apex (audio) \
plural apexes or apices\ ˈā-​pə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce apex (audio) , ˈa-​ \

Essential Meaning of apex

: the top or highest point of something

Full Definition of apex

1a : the uppermost point : vertex the apex of a mountain
b : the narrowed or pointed end : tip the apex of the tongue
2 : the highest or culminating point the apex of his career
3 : the point of sharpest curvature in a path (such as that followed by a turning vehicle) a driver hitting the apex as he races around a corner At the apex of the turn his rear wheels apparently came unstuck from the oil-drenched groove.— Robert F. Jones

Choose the Right Synonym for apex

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?

Apex entered English from Latin, where it originally meant "a small rod at the top of a flamen's cap." What's a flamen's cap? Flamens were priests who devoted themselves to serving just one of the many ancient Roman gods (for instance, just Jupiter or Mars). Those priests wore distinctive conical caps that English speakers dubbed "flamen's caps." Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century dramatist Ben Jonson was one of the few English writers known to have used "apex" in its flamen's-cap sense: "Upon his head a hat of delicate wool, whose top ended in a cone, and was thence called apex."

Examples of apex in a Sentence

she reached the apex of fame, only to find it wasn't what she expected the apex of the spear
Recent Examples on the Web The 2017 team was the apex for the Spielman-Zimmer regime, when quarterback Case Keenum produced a career season and the defense led the league in fewest yards and points allowed. Dave Campbell, ajc, 10 Jan. 2022 The Premiere is the apex of those sets, projecting a screen size that’s up to 130 inches. Chris Morris, Fortune, 9 Nov. 2021 That Cleveland title, the fulfillment of a draft-night promise more than a decade in the making and end of a city’s 52-year drought, was James' apex. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 13 Oct. 2020 Even launching out of the apex of a steep hairpin that closely approximated the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca, the AMG was utterly unfazed and unflappable. Nick Czap, Robb Report, 24 Dec. 2021 Orientalists and philologists like Max Müller, who never traveled to India, used reports of deification in the colonies to construct powerful theories of world religion that placed European spirituality at the apex. Ian Beacock, The New Republic, 6 Dec. 2021 His interceptions have come on a curl, an over route and a deep post; at the ball’s apex and via dives; with fluidity and with bobbles. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, 16 Oct. 2021 Guangzhou Evergrande was the most dramatic illustration of this moment — its 2015 victory in the Asian Champions League signaled a kind of apex — and at one point was valued at $1 billion. Washington Post, 29 Sep. 2021 In this way, Weird Al is the physical embodiment of the apex of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, 9 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apex.' 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 apex

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for apex


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à peu près


apex beat

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Last Updated

20 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Apex.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apex. Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for apex


\ ˈā-ˌpeks How to pronounce apex (audio) \
plural apexes or apices\ ˈā-​pə-​ˌsēz \

Kids Definition of apex

1 : the highest point : peak "She's on top of the roof, walking with a foot either side of the apex …"— Brian Jacques, Redwall
2 : the most successful time the apex of his career


\ ˈā-ˌpeks How to pronounce apex (audio) \
plural apexes or apices\ ˈā-​pə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce apex (audio) \

Medical Definition of apex

: a narrowed or pointed end of an anatomical structure: as
a : the narrow somewhat conical upper part of a lung extending into the root
b : the lower pointed end of the heart situated in humans opposite the space between the cartilages of the fifth and sixth ribs on the left side
c : the extremity of the root of a tooth

More from Merriam-Webster on apex

Nglish: Translation of apex for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of apex for Arabic Speakers


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