pre·​em·​i·​nence prē-ˈe-mə-nən(t)s How to pronounce preeminence (audio)
: the quality or state of being preeminent : superiority

Examples of preeminence in a Sentence

the restaurant is known for the preeminence of its seafood dishes some historians contended that no nation had attained such undisputed preeminence since the glory days of the Roman Empire
Recent Examples on the Web Presidents, movie stars, criminals and despots Barbara Jill Walters was a force from the time TV was exploding on the American scene in the 1960s to its waning preeminence in a new world of competition from streaming services and social media a half-century later. Susan Page, USA TODAY, 11 Apr. 2024 In 2003, the Washington Times ran a double-page spread that claimed all 36 deceased American presidents had acknowledged Moon’s preeminence. TIME, 4 Apr. 2024 This new digital age would loosen the cultural grip that Hollywood held on consumers, setting the stage for YouTube, TikTok, streaming and other forms of entertainment that would challenge the movie business’s preeminence. Brent Lang, Variety, 6 Mar. 2024 Consider, for example, the immediate post–Cold War years, when everyone agreed on the United States’ unprecedented preeminence. Joshua Shifrinson, Foreign Affairs, 17 Oct. 2023 In World War I, World War II, and the Cold War, autocracies in Eurasia sought global primacy by achieving preeminence within that central landmass. Hal Brands, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 America’s own history shows how achieving regional preeminence facilitates global power projection. Andrew S. Erickson, Foreign Affairs, 16 Feb. 2024 On September 10, 2001, the U.S. was the unchallenged global superpower, with naval preeminence as the bedrock of American military dominance. Gil Barndollar, TIME, 12 Feb. 2024 The very same decadal survey that reinforced MSR’s preeminence also set several other high-priority objectives, such as robotic NASA missions to Uranus, Venus and the mysterious Saturnian moons Enceladus and Titan. Leonard David, Scientific American, 11 Jan. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of preeminence was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near preeminence

Cite this Entry

“Preeminence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


pre·​em·​i·​nence prē-ˈem-ə-nən(t)s How to pronounce preeminence (audio)
: the quality or state of being preeminent

More from Merriam-Webster on preeminence

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!