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nonpareil

adjective non·pa·reil \ ˌnän-pə-ˈrel \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of nonpareil

: having no equal
  • Her performance was nonpareil.
  • Our baker's cakes are nonpareil.
  • a nonpareil drummer

nonpareil was our Word of the Day on 06/04/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of nonpareil in a Sentence

  1. the nonpareil beauty of Helen of Troy

Recent Examples of nonpareil from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonpareil.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Trace "nonpareil" back to its Middle French origins and you'll find that it comes from a term meaning "not equal." "Pareil" itself comes from a Vulgar Latin form of "par," which means "equal." "Nonpareil" has served as an English adjective since the 15th century, and since the late 16th century it has also functioned as a noun describing an individual of unequaled excellence. In 1612, Captain John Smith used the term in that noun sense (but with a now-archaic spelling): "Pocahontas, Powhatan's daughter ... was the very Nomparell of his kingdome, and at most not past 13 or 14 years of age." And as you may know, "nonpareil" is also the name of a chocolate candy covered with white sugar pellets.

Origin and Etymology of nonpareil

Middle English nounparalle, from Middle French nompareil, from non- + pareil equal, from Vulgar Latin *pariculus, from Latin par equal

nonpareil Synonyms

Synonyms
incomparable, inimitable, matchless, only, peerless, unequaled (or unequalled), unexampled, unmatched, unparalleled, unrivaled (or unrivalled), unsurpassable, unsurpassed
Related Words
alone, singular, unique; exceptional, extraordinary, rare, uncommon, unusual; A-OK, A1, awesome, bang-up, banner, beautiful, blue-chip, boffo, bonny (also bonnie) [chiefly British], boss [slang], brag, brave, bully, bumper, capital, choice, classic, cool [slang], corking, crackerjack, cracking, dandy, divine, dope [slang], down [slang], dynamite, excellent, fab, fabulous, famous, fantabulous [slang], fantastic, fine, first-class, first-rate, first-string, five-star, frontline, gangbusters (also gangbuster), gone [slang], grand, great, groovy, heavenly, high-class, hot, hype [slang], immense, jim-dandy, keen, lovely, marvelous (or marvellous), mean, neat, nifty, noble, number one (also No. 1), numero uno, out-of-sight [slang], par excellence, peachy, peachy keen, phat [slang], prime, primo [slang], prize, prizewinning, quality, radical [slang], righteous [slang], sensational, splendid, stellar, sterling, superb, superior, superlative, supernal, swell, terrific, tip-top, top, top-notch, wizard [chiefly British], wonderful; better, preferred; exceptional, fancy, high-grade, special
Near Antonyms
common, commonplace, everyday, familiar, frequent, garden, household, normal, ordinary, routine, ubiquitous, usual; inferior, lesser, worse, worst; bad, bastard, bush, bush-league, deficient, depressed, dissatisfactory, ill, inferior, lame, lousy, low, lower, off, paltry, poor, punk, substandard, unacceptable, unsatisfactory, wanting; low-grade, substandard; mediocre, second-class, second-rate; atrocious, awful, execrable, pathetic, rotten, terrible, vile, wretched

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nonpareil

noun

Definition of nonpareil

1 : an individual of unequaled excellence : paragon
2 a : a small flat disk of chocolate covered with white sugar pellets
b : sugar in small pellets of various colors

Examples of nonpareil in a Sentence

  1. Elvis was the nonpareil of early American rock and roll.

  2. among the knights of the Round Table, Galahad stood alone as the nonpareil of nobility and selflessness

Recent Examples of nonpareil from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonpareil.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of nonpareil


NONPAREIL Defined for English Language Learners

nonpareil

adjective

Definition of nonpareil for English Language Learners

  • : better than any other : having no equal


nonpareil

noun

Definition of nonpareil for English Language Learners

  • : someone or something that is better than any other

  • : a candy that is a small, flat, round piece of chocolate covered with tiny balls made of sugar



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