eminent

adjective
em·​i·​nent | \ ˈe-mə-nənt How to pronounce eminent (audio) \

Definition of eminent

1 : exhibiting eminence especially in standing above others in some quality or position : prominent
2 : standing out so as to be readily perceived or noted : conspicuous
3 : jutting out : projecting

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

On Imminent and Eminent

Imminent bears a close resemblance to eminent, and native English-speakers can be excused if they sometimes have to check their spelling. No surprise, really, since the two, despite their very distinct meanings, come from near-identical sources. The Latin minēre means basically “to project, overhang,” and it forms the root of other Latin words. One added the prefix e-, meaning “out from,” to produce eminēre, “to stand out”; another took the prefix im-, meaning “upon,” and became imminēre, “to project.” The difference between “stand out” and “project” is obviously small. Still, even when eminent and imminent first appeared as English words in the 15th and 16th centuries respectively, they were clearly distinct in meaning, imminent’s prefix having strengthened the “overhang” sense of minēre to give the word its frequent suggestion of looming threat.

Examples of eminent in a Sentence

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 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 many eminent surgeons are on the hospital's staff
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Recent Examples on the Web Kleinman, an eminent psychiatrist and medical anthropologist who has taught at Harvard for more than four decades, is also a prolific writer. Katie Hafner, Washington Post, "He critiqued a callous health-care system. Then he experienced it firsthand.," 8 Nov. 2019 Whereas Erdős sought hyper-focussed vigilance, other eminent mathematicians have found a hazy drowsiness to be the most fertile state of mind. Dan Rockmore, The New Yorker, "The Myth and Magic of Generating New Ideas," 7 Nov. 2019 The reassuring thing is that the system is working, as the eminent lawyer Alan Dershowitz has remarked. Conrad Black, National Review, "The Impeachment Farce Limps Along to Its Anticlimax," 30 Oct. 2019 Even as the appetite for comedies grew, eminent actors—above all David Garrick—used sturdier roles, such as Richard III and Macbeth, to boost their careers. The Economist, "When was greatness thrust upon William Shakespeare?," 26 Oct. 2019 Her father, Herman Shickman, was an eminent New York art dealer specializing in the Old Masters period and Susannah was immersed in the world of art from early childhood. courant.com, "Susannah E. Shickman," 15 Oct. 2019 Because experiments show that individuals referred to by their surnames are more likely to be viewed as famous and eminent. Mary K. Feeney, Quartz, "Why don’t more women win science Nobels?," 11 Oct. 2019 In the Super Bowl, the Patriots left Solder on an island for 70 of 75 snaps against Philadelphia’s pre-eminent defensive line. Peter King, SI.com, "The 2018 NFL Draft Could Very Well Feature Four Quarterbacks in First Five Picks ... Or Not," 21 Mar. 2018 Beef Stroganoff may be the eminent case in point: Long considered a classic of Russian cuisine, it was actually concocted by French chef Charles Briere in 1891. Jim Kempton, Orange County Register, "Follow the French: A look at the French influence on cuisine around the world," 2 Aug. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for 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

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Statistics for eminent

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for eminent

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

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More Definitions for eminent

eminent

adjective
How to pronounce eminent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of eminent

: successful, well-known and respected

eminent

adjective
em·​i·​nent | \ ˈe-mə-nənt How to pronounce eminent (audio) \

Kids Definition of eminent

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on eminent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for eminent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with eminent

Spanish Central: Translation of eminent

Nglish: Translation of eminent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eminent for Arabic Speakers

Comments on eminent

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