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\ ə-​ˌpä-​thē-​ˈō-​ˌsēz How to pronounce apotheoses (audio) , ˌa-​pə-​ˈthē-​ə-​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 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

The gig economy was supposed to be the apotheosis of that shift. Neil Irwin, New York Times, "Maybe We’re Not All Going to Be Gig Economy Workers After All," 15 Sep. 2019 Five Star leaders, including Grillo, the often-vulgar comedian who was the public frontman during the party’s rise, have often depicted the Democratic Party as the apotheosis of corruption and backroom deals. Washington Post, "With online poll, Italy moves closer to formation of a new government," 4 Sep. 2019 Late summer’s small window of exquisitely ripe, local tomato apotheosis pretty much mirrors how many of us feel about summer itself: The whole shebang is sweet, but far too short. Alexandra Hall, BostonGlobe.com, "3 recipes to help you make the most of tomato season," 13 Aug. 2019 Genteel farmland, then a byword for urban blight, and now the apotheosis of hipsterdom and gentrification—Brooklyn has seen it all. The Economist, "A technicolour history of Brooklyn," 12 Sep. 2019 Manganiello’s Sonny personifies a boyhood ideal: the athletic apotheosis of casual working-class masculinity. Armond White, National Review, "Bottom of the 9th: Sympathy for the Underdog," 6 Sep. 2019 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

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

18 Oct 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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