apex was our Word of the Day on 02/27/2010. Hear the podcast!
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
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."
Origin and Etymology of apex
First Known Use: 1601
Synonym Discussion of apex
APEX Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of apex for English Language Learners
: the top or highest point of something
APEX Defined for Kids
Medical Definition of apex
: a narrowed or pointed end of an anatomical structure: asa: the narrow somewhat conical upper part of a lung extending into the rootb: 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 sidec: the extremity of the root of a tooth
Seen and Heard
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