pre·​em·​i·​nent | \ prē-ˈe-mə-nənt How to pronounce preeminent (audio) \

Definition of preeminent

: having paramount rank, dignity, or importance : outstanding, supreme

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from preeminent

preeminently adverb

Did You Know?

What is noteworthy about the following sentence? "Mount McKinley is a prominent eminence in the Alaskan landscape." You very likely recognized two words that are closely related to "preeminent" - "prominent" and "eminence." All three words are rooted in the Latin verb stem -minēre, meaning "to stand out." But did you note as well the related word mount? Not too surprisingly, "-minēre" is related to "mons," the Latin word for "mountain." That relationship leads us in turn to "paramount," a word closely related in meaning to "preeminent."

Examples of preeminent in a Sentence

She's the preeminent chef in a city that has many good ones. The poem is a preeminent example of his work.
Recent Examples on the Web For a large demographic, Stevens remains the preeminent songwriting comedian of their lifetime. Isaac Weeks, Billboard, "Ray Stevens Is Latest Country Star to Launch Own Venue With His CabaRay Showroom," 9 June 2018 Predictably, Houellebecq’s fame has been greatest in France, Britain, and the United States, superpower nations preeminent in the unfolding, and unraveling, world order of the new century. Siddhartha Deb, The New Republic, "Michel Houellebecq’s Fragile World," 21 Jan. 2020 Melissa Moschella, a preeminent voice on natural law, biomedical ethics, and the moral and political status of the family from Catholic University. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Heritage expands team in war on socialism and academic liberalism," 20 Jan. 2020 Chicago retained its hazy IPA crown when Old Irving Brewing, a Northwest Side brewpub, won gold at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver (the nation's preeminent beer festival) with its brew, Beezer — one of 348 entries in the category. Chicago Tribune Staff,, "tl;dr: hazy IPAs, marathon madness and cops get caught parking illegally," 10 Oct. 2019 College football is bringing its national championship game to New Orleans on Monday for the fifth time, cementing its status as America’s preeminent venue for big sporting events. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Not a question of if, but when Las Vegas hosts College Football Playoff or Final Four," 9 Jan. 2020 But using the example of Florida’s men’s basketball team winning back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007 at a school in which football is the preeminent sport, Oats sees room for his program to breathe. Mike Rodak |, al, "In football’s shadow, Alabama basketball quietly improves entering SEC play," 3 Jan. 2020 The Irishman Martin Scorsese is one of two or three preeminent American directors of the past half-century. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "Golden Globes Film: Who Should Win, Who Will Win," 2 Jan. 2020 As a network, BET continues to be a preeminent destination for black television viewers. Gerrick D. Kennedy,, "Cardi, Nicki ... Connie? On eve of BET Awards, network exec Orlando makes her mark," 21 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of preeminent

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for preeminent

Middle English, from Late Latin praeeminent-, praeeminens, from Latin, present participle of praeeminēre to be outstanding, from prae- + eminēre to stand out — more at eminent

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about preeminent

Time Traveler for preeminent

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about preeminent

Statistics for preeminent

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Preeminent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for preeminent


How to pronounce preeminent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of preeminent

formal : more important, skillful, or successful than others : better than others

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on preeminent

What made you want to look up preeminent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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