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

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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

This year’s free agency was the apotheosis of this obsession, as billions of dollars were thrown around like spare change over the course of a few hours. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The End of the NBA’s Endless Summer," 10 July 2019 This is a great drama, the apotheosis of Marian worship. Colm Tóibín, The New York Review of Books, "Tintoretto’s Wildness," 9 May 2019 The absence of any Velveteen-style apotheosis, though, makes this message a resolutely secular call to familial duty. Ross Douthat, National Review, "Toy Story 4’s Nursery Stoicism," 11 July 2019 Perhaps the apotheosis of female pool ownership belongs to the modern pop star. Amanda Hess, New York Times, "Women Crash the Pool Party," 3 July 2019 Perhaps, the apotheosis of this attitude occurred in Houston earlier this month. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "You get a whiff of failure when boiling down baseball numbers," 22 June 2019 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

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

9 Aug 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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