apex

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

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

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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 apex predators have all but disappeared from False Bay, South Africa, where tourists often board boats to watch them hunt around Seal Island and the more daring don flippers and go shark diving. Annaliese Griffin, Quartzy, "Are great white sharks messing with us?," 1 Sep. 2019 Shark tourism helps raise money for conservation, and the sudden absence of the apex predators could have knock-on effects on the whole ecosystem. Linda Nordling, Science | AAAS, "Great white sharks have suddenly disappeared from one of their favorite hangouts," 30 Aug. 2019 Matt Riley was catching lobsters with a group of friends when the enormous apex predator approached the boat, before quickly swimming off, CBS Boston reported. Fox News, "Real-life 'Jaws'? Massive great white shark almost bites fisherman's boat," 30 Aug. 2019 The Western Flyer went on to become an apex predator in the Pacific and Alaska. Smithsonian, "John Steinbeck’s Epic Ocean Voyage Rewrote the Rules of Ecology," 22 Aug. 2019 Beckham remains the apex predator at the wide receiver position with 1,000 yards receiving in four of his five seasons. Matt Gajewski, SI.com, "Fantasy Football 2019: Wide Receiver Position Primer," 8 Aug. 2019 Amazon is the apex predator of the modern economy; as with Walmart in the ’90s, anyone who wants to compete with it will have to adopt its labor practices. Emily Guendelsberger, Time, "I Worked at an Amazon Fulfillment Center; They Treat Workers Like Robots," 18 July 2019 Lily climbs a tree and runs across a roof to perch on the apex of a garage — in a single shot. Los Angeles Times, "How did that jaw-dropping ‘Barry’ episode come together?," 14 Aug. 2019 But the apex of peace and love and the abyss of pitiless violence were born out of similar drives as old as the U.S. itself. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Woodstock, Manson and the march to Utopia," 13 Aug. 2019

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

Latin

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Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for apex

The first known use of apex was in 1590

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More Definitions for apex

apex

noun

English Language Learners Definition of apex

: the top or highest point of something

apex

noun
\ 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 He was at the apex of his career.

apex

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on apex

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with apex

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for apex

Spanish Central: Translation of apex

Nglish: Translation of apex for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of apex for Arabic Speakers

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