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

In an unprecedented move for Asia’s pre-eminent financial centre, the authorities shut down Hong Kong’s airport for two days in a row in response to large demonstrations there. The Economist, "Is Hong Kong moving closer to the abyss that its leaders warn about?," 17 Aug. 2019 As the eminent-domain issue wound its way, the neighbors’ cause was represented by city attorneys. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "After 7-year battle, Lake City neighbors rejoice as Lake Washington dead end becomes a public beach," 24 June 2019 Trump has added strikingly little length to barriers along the Mexico border despite his pre-eminent 2016 campaign promise to get a wall done. Calvin Woodward, Fortune, "Economy, Wall, Taxes: Fact Checking Trump's Speech at Orlando Rally," 19 June 2019 Trump has added strikingly little length to barriers along the Mexico border despite his pre-eminent 2016 campaign promise to get a wall done. Calvin Woodward, BostonGlobe.com, "Fact check: In 2020 debut, Trump exaggerates economic growth," 18 June 2019 But that’s only the start of the state’s smash-’n’-grab approach to the use of eminent-domain power. Walter Olson, WSJ, "Will Baltimore Make Off With the Races?," 24 Mar. 2019 In April, a left-wing magazine editor set out to get an eminent conservative thinker fired from a government post. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Where’s the Outrage at the Smear of Roger Scruton?," 17 July 2019 In 1959, Imanuel began what was to become an eminent career at The Hartt School of Music, now The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. courant.com, "Imanuel Willheim," 14 July 2019 The two issues complement each other with engaging content that answers those two questions, among other unique articles, and showcases a collection of the firm’s pre-eminent listings. Kelli Williams, The Denver Post, "LIV Sotheby’s International Realty produces Denver Metro and Resort editions of signature publication, LIV Magazine," 27 June 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

20 Aug 2019

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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

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with eminent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for eminent

Spanish Central: Translation of eminent

Nglish: Translation of eminent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eminent for Arabic Speakers

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