non·​pa·​reil | \ ˌnän-pə-ˈrel How to pronounce nonpareil (audio) \

Definition of nonpareil

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



Definition of nonpareil (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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 Latin par, which means "equal," and non- is a common prefix meaning "not." In addition to its adjectival use, nonpareil also functions as a noun describing an individual of unequaled excellence ("the nonpareil of cellists"), and as the name of a chocolate candy disk covered with small sugar pellets.

Examples of nonpareil in a Sentence

Adjective the nonpareil beauty of Helen of Troy Noun Elvis was the nonpareil of early American rock and roll. among the knights of the Round Table, Galahad stood alone as the nonpareil of nobility and selflessness
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective His network of contacts is nonpareil; his manner solicitous and genteel; his work ethic fanatical. New York Times, 8 Apr. 2022 The Bolshoi Ballet was nonpareil in ballet technique. Washington Post, 11 Mar. 2022 Tom Brady is a Northern California Guy who spent his nonpareil career playing for teams in the Eastern time zone. Los Angeles Times, 1 Feb. 2022 Of course, Becker, along with chef de cuisine Chris Strelnick, need do nothing to the nonpareil Spanish hams beyond slicing them very thin, like the jamon de belotta and paleta Iberico por Cintas jotas ($36 and $21). John Mariani, Forbes, 20 Oct. 2021 So that’s exactly what Marchionne did, bringing Olivier Francois over from Citroen and charging him with making Fiat Chrysler a nonpareil stable of brands and teller of stories. Dale Buss, Forbes, 1 June 2021 Two leading off-Broadway companies, the Irish Repertory Theatre and the Mint Theater, are doing so as well, and the artistic and technical quality of their webcasts is nonpareil. Terry Teachout, WSJ, 13 Dec. 2020 Apple's reputation as a product hitmaker is nonpareil. Robert Hackett, Fortune, 10 Nov. 2020 For countless Americans, the United States military epitomizes nonpareil technological advantage. Will Roper, Wired, 24 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Once royal icing is set, use small dab of it to stick on nonpareil for nose. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, 27 Feb. 2020 While the iced cookies are still wet, attach the small pearl nonpareils. Bh&g Holiday Editors, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 Apr. 2020 Yet the generation that knows Jim Crow America only from hearsay ought to know what Belafonte explicates in this aggrieved, damaged, nonpareil persona. Armond White, National Review, 11 Mar. 2020 Tom Brady has already had the storybook ending to his nonpareil football career. Chad Finn,, 8 Jan. 2020 Decorate cookie with a mix of green nonpareils and jimmies around the outer edge to mimic a wreath. Nancy Stohs, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3 Dec. 2019 When cookies are cool, brush tops with glaze and sprinkle with nonpareils. Nancy Stohs, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 29 Nov. 2019 Owner Carl Fogarty has an impressive collection of antiques, but his treasure trove of vintage maps, currency and books is nonpareil. Claire Goodman, Houston Chronicle, 27 Nov. 2019 Turns out President Trump, that TV addict nonpareil, watches it this way, too. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, 20 Nov. 2019 See More

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.

First Known Use of nonpareil


15th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1500, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nonpareil

Adjective and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for nonpareil

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

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Nonpareil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of nonpareil for Spanish Speakers


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