apotheosis

noun
apo·​the·​o·​sis | \ ə-ˌpä-thē-ˈō-səs How to pronounce apotheosis (audio) , ˌa-pə-ˈthē-ə-səs How to pronounce apotheosis (audio) \
plural apotheoses\ -​ˌsēz How to pronounce apotheoses (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from apotheosis

apotheosize \ ˌa-​pə-​ˈthē-​ə-​ˌsīz How to pronounce apotheosize (audio) , 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

In what may have been the brand’s cultural apotheosis, Missett nabbed a spot in the opening ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympics, in Los Angeles, alongside some three hundred Jazzercisers. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Jazzercise Is Immortal," 13 June 2019 Blood-spattered on a stretcher, with Willie D and Scarface beside him, the album was an apotheosis for Geto Boys’ aesthetic — morbid, self-aware and provocative. August Brown, latimes.com, "Geto Boys’ Bushwick Bill dies: Morbid, provocative — an unlikely hip-hop legend," 10 June 2019 Today, the loose-limbed Fred Astaire has reached near-apotheosis as an on-screen star. Lili Rosenkranz, Town & Country, "T&C Family Album: Fred & Ava Astaire," 3 July 2014 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about apotheosis

Listen to Our Podcast about apotheosis

Dictionary Entries near apotheosis

apothegm

apothem

apotheose

apotheosis

apotome

apotracheal

apotropaic

Statistics for apotheosis

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for apotheosis

The first known use of apotheosis was circa 1580

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on apotheosis

What made you want to look up apotheosis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!