adjective em·i·nent \ˈe-mə-nənt\

Definition of eminent

  1. 1 :  standing out so as to be readily perceived or noted :  conspicuous

  2. 2 :  jutting out :  projecting

  3. 3 :  exhibiting eminence especially in standing above others in some quality or position :  prominent

Examples of eminent in a sentence

  1. The trend discerned by Wilde a century ago, of course, has only accelerated in recent years, as the line between trashy celebrity exposés and serious biographies of eminent artists, statesmen and thinkers has grown increasingly blurred. —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times, 20 May 1994

  2. Next year sees the 150th anniversary of the ‘invention’ of the dinosaurs by the eminent English anatomist and palaeontologist, Richard Owen. —Nicholas Fraser, Nature, 20 & 27 Dec. 1990

  3. many eminent surgeons are on the hospital's staff

Origin and Etymology of eminent

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin eminent-, eminens, present participle of eminēre to stand out, from e- + -minēre; akin to Latin mont-, mons mountain — more at mount

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of eminent

famous, renowned, celebrated, noted, notorious, distinguished, eminent, illustrious mean known far and wide. famous implies little more than the fact of being, sometimes briefly, widely and popularly known. a famous actress renowned implies more glory and acclamation. one of the most renowned figures in sports history celebrated implies notice and attention especially in print. the most celebrated beauty of her day noted suggests well-deserved public attention. the noted mystery writer notorious frequently adds to famous an implication of questionableness or evil. a notorious gangster distinguished implies acknowledged excellence or superiority. a distinguished scientist who won the Nobel Prize eminent implies even greater prominence for outstanding quality or character. the country's most eminent writers illustrious stresses enduring honor and glory attached to a deed or person. illustrious war heroes

EMINENT Defined for English Language Learners


adjective em·i·nent \ˈe-mə-nənt\

Definition of eminent for English Language Learners

  • : successful, well-known and respected

EMINENT Defined for Kids


adjective em·i·nent \ˈe-mə-nənt\

Definition of eminent for Students

  1. :  successful, well-known, and respected an eminent physician

Seen and Heard

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to cast off or become cast off

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