em·​i·​nence | \ ˈe-mə-nən(t)s How to pronounce eminence (audio) \

Definition of eminence

1 : a position of prominence or superiority
2 : one that is eminent, prominent, or lofty: such as
a : a person of high rank or attainments often used as a title for a cardinal
b : a natural elevation
c : an anatomical protuberance (as on a bone)

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Examples of eminence in a Sentence

the eminence of the Nobel Prize in the field of awards and prizes the old citadel sits on an eminence with a commanding view of the city
Recent Examples on the Web This building opened in 1842 as the Customs House, a monument to New York’s pre-eminence in maritime commerce, since the money collected from shipping alone was sufficient to support virtually all the functions of the federal government. Sam Roberts, New York Times, "5 New York Buildings That Changed American History," 31 Oct. 2019 The site of Woods’s latest milestone was itself a nod to his eminence. Karen Crouse, New York Times, "Tiger Woods Ties Sam Snead’s Career Wins Record in Japan," 27 Oct. 2019 Virtually all these eminences were united in being vigorously antifascist. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, "Turning a spotlight on the Hollywood doyenne who gave refuge to artists fleeing Hitler," 22 Jan. 2020 Get our daily newsletter Partly, though, Kael’s pre-eminence was a matter of timing. N.b., The Economist, "The singular genius of Pauline Kael," 1 July 2019 Fans of that era will find many delights in Mr. Kaukonen’s recollections, some of which challenge the idea that hippie eminences were all about peace, love and tofu. Dave Shiflett, WSJ, "‘Been So Long’ Review: Born to Wander," 7 Sep. 2018 Now the offending interlocutor is a person of no little eminence himself—the inventor, in fact, of the birth-control pill. Michael Gorra, The New York Review of Books, "Young Woman from the Provinces," 11 Feb. 2020 Worse has been the trickle-down effect of this holy quest for national pre-eminence, especially on youth sports culture. Harvey Araton, New York Times, "End of the Year Means Another Contrived College Football Playoff," 25 Dec. 2019 Domini is an enthusiast for experimental and postmodern eminences like John Barth and Steve Erickson, writers whose every sentence was microscopically tweaked for meaning and resonance. Mark Athitakis, Washington Post, "A meditation on race, class — and murder — set in one of Europe’s most storied cities," 13 June 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for eminence

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The first known use of eminence was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

27 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Eminence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eminence. Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for eminence


How to pronounce eminence (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of eminence

: a condition of being well-known and successful
formal : a person of high rank or achievements
formal : an area of high ground


em·​i·​nence | \ ˈe-mə-nəns How to pronounce eminence (audio) \

Kids Definition of eminence

1 : the condition of being well-known and respected The brilliant scientist had earned eminence in her field.
2 : a piece of high ground : hill


em·​i·​nence | \ ˈem-ə-nən(t)s How to pronounce eminence (audio) \

Medical Definition of eminence

: a protuberance or projection on a bodily part and especially a bone

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