ne plus ultra

noun

ne plus ul·​tra ˌnā-ˌpləs-ˈəl-trə How to pronounce ne plus ultra (audio)
ˌnē-
1
: the highest point capable of being attained : acme
2
: the most profound degree of a quality or state

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It is the height, the zenith, the ultimate, the crown, the pinnacle. It is the peak, the summit, the crest, the high-water mark. All these expressions, of course, mean "the highest point attainable." But ne plus ultra may top them all when it comes to expressing in a sophisticated way that something is the pink of perfection. It is said that the term's predecessor, non plus ultra, was inscribed on the Pillars of Heracles at the Strait of Gibraltar, which marked the western end of the classical world. The phrase served as a warning: "(Let there) not (be) more (sailing) beyond." The New Latin version ne plus ultra, meaning "(go) no more beyond," found its way into English in the early 1600s.

Examples of ne plus ultra in a Sentence

this new sports car is being billed as the ne plus ultra of automotive achievement
Recent Examples on the Web The Paris couture runways are known for being ne plus ultra for both boundary-pushing design and formidable craftsmanship, but the style outside shows can be just as inspirational. Alex Badia, WWD, 2 July 2024 White Barn Inn, hands-down the ne plus ultra of fine dining in the area, has opened Little Barn in the abutting room—a cozy and refined-but-rustic space rolling out cosseting dishes of buttery skate wing schnitzel. Alexandra Hall, Condé Nast Traveler, 2 May 2023 This year marks the 74th anniversary of Formula 1, the ne plus ultra of motorsport, and James Allen has been covering more than 30 of those seasons as a journalist, broadcaster, and industry insider. Viju Mathew, Robb Report, 15 Mar. 2024 The Academy Awards is, of course, the ne plus ultra of Hollywood tickets, a show so drenched in glitter and glamour that, famously, even the famous sometimes don’t get an invite. USA TODAY, 4 Mar. 2024 Haley has layered several of them with white turtlenecks, the ne plus ultra of a Midwestern workhorse wardrobe. Mattie Kahn, Vogue, 22 Jan. 2024 Circa 2000, the ne plus ultra of cashmere sweaters was made by Lucien Pellat-Finet. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, 1 Sep. 2023 Creating the ne plus ultra of the jazz avant-garde while reclaiming the prehistory that underlay it, Ayler reconceived its place in Black American culture. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 18 July 2023 And for name recognition and potential hate-read appeal, a Goop assignment is the ne plus ultra of wellness writing. Carolyn Wells, Longreads, 19 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ne plus ultra.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, (go) no more beyond

First Known Use

1637, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ne plus ultra was in 1637

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Cite this Entry

“Ne plus ultra.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ne%20plus%20ultra. Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

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