apotheosis

noun
apo·​the·​o·​sis | \ ə-ˌpä-thē-ˈō-səs , ˌa-pə-ˈthē-ə-səs \
plural apotheoses\ -​ˌsēz \

Definition of apotheosis

1a : the perfect form or example of something : quintessence the apotheosis of Hollywood glamour … Nelson Rockefeller, the other top contender and the apotheosis of liberal Republicanism.— Sam Tanenhaus
b : the highest or best part of something : peak The city reaches its apotheosis at the holiday …— David Leavin
2 : elevation to divine status : deification the apotheosis of Roman emperors

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Other Words from apotheosis

apotheosize \ ˌa-​pə-​ˈthē-​ə-​ˌsīz , ə-​ˈpä-​thē-​ə-​ \ transitive verb

Did You Know?

Among the ancient Greeks, it was sometimes thought fitting - or simply handy, say if you wanted a god somewhere in your bloodline - to grant someone or other god status. So they created the word apotheosis, meaning "making into a god." (The prefix apo- can mean simply "quite" or "completely," and "theos" is the Greek word for "god.") There's not a lot of Greek-style apotheosizing in the 21st century, but there is hero-worship. Our extended use of "apotheosis" as "elevation to divine status" is the equivalent of "placement on a very high pedestal." Even more common these days is to use "apotheosis" in reference to a perfect example or ultimate form. For example, one might describe a movie as "the apotheosis of the sci-fi movie genre."

Examples of apotheosis in a Sentence

the apotheosis of the picaresque novel

Recent Examples on the Web

Recall, for instance, that in 2001: A Space Odyssey—often considered the apotheosis of sci-fi—most of the women are, like, flight attendants...and that’s it. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "The Best Sci Fi Movies of 2018 That Starred Women," 28 Nov. 2018 Madison, Wisconsin, and Indianapolis, Indiana, part of a large swath of America’s middle section many consider to be the apotheosis of tech innovation, have each seen sizable tech scenes take root. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Big cities courting big tech helped define 2018," 18 Dec. 2018 Photo: John Weast/Getty Images Oklahoma’s 66-59 win on Oct. 22, 2016, has come to be regarded as the apotheosis of the Air Raid offense, which has ruled college football for the better part of a decade. Jonathan Clegg, WSJ, "When Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes Played in College, the NFL Saw Its Future," 1 Nov. 2018 The Birkin bag is the apotheosis of fancy purse culture. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "Michael Cohen’s plea deal revealed he made $30,000 from selling a handbag. The Birkin economy, explained.," 22 Aug. 2018 The Trump administration represents the apotheosis of this trend, and Farrow's final chapters focus on Trump's gleeful dismantling of what remains of America's diplomatic apparatus. Rosa Brooks, chicagotribune.com, "An elegy for American diplomacy," 21 May 2018 An American apotheosis is often built on a humbling downfall, and Jimmy Carter has his, too, of course. Michael Paterniti, GQ, "Jimmy Carter for Higher Office," 26 June 2018 If the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 marked the beginning of the Age of Sail in Western history, the great sea battles—from 1792 to 1815—of the Napoleonic Wars marked its apotheosis. WSJ, "Five Best: Craig L. Symonds," 15 June 2018 The moment, in 2005, when Smith became a triple threat—columnist, radio host, TV host—was a kind of apotheosis. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, "Stephen A. Smith Won’t Stop Talking," 16 June 2018

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

circa 1580, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for apotheosis

Late Latin, from Greek apotheōsis, from apotheoun to deify, from apo- + theos god

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Dictionary Entries near apotheosis

apothegm

apothem

apotheose

apotheosis

apotome

apotracheal

apotropaic

Statistics for apotheosis

Last Updated

25 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for apotheosis

The first known use of apotheosis was circa 1580

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More Definitions for apotheosis

apotheosis

noun

English Language Learners Definition of apotheosis

formal
: the perfect form or example of something
: the highest or best part of something

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More from Merriam-Webster on apotheosis

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for apotheosis

Britannica English: Translation of apotheosis for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about apotheosis

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