pre·em·i·nent | \prē-ˈe-mə-nənt \

Definition of preeminent 

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

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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

And that is just one step toward a more ambitious goal, most observers say: to supplant the US as the preeminent power in Asia and the western Pacific. Michael Holtz, The Christian Science Monitor, "What Beijing's surge in the South China Sea means," 1 June 2018 Clinton said Wednesday afternoon at the Shared Value Leadership Summit, a gathering of some of the preeminent minds in business (who are presumably capitalists). Valentina Zarya, Fortune, "Hillary Clinton: Big Business Is 'Disrupting Our Democracy'," 2 May 2018 Like the world’s preeminent fashion designers (Philadelphia’s own Ralph Rucci comes to mind), Hian is beyond stubborn. Elizabeth Wellington,, "Welcome to Paula Hian's King of Prussia pop-up | Elizabeth Wellington," 12 July 2018 Conservative outlets had been on the case for months, fueled by Iwan's ties to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), a preeminent GOP bogeywoman who used to run the Democratic National Committee. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Trump’s own Justice Department reprimands his conspiracy theorizing," 3 July 2018 Whitson is the preeminent example of when a player can’t pitch in New York. Staff,, "Nine Innings: Solving the Yankees' Sonny Gray Problem, AL East Deciding Factors and Our Favorite Statcast Quirks," 2 July 2018 Over a century ago, two French tire manufacturers accidentally created the world’s preeminent food guide. Casey Quackenbush / Hong Kong, Time, "'We're Not Educated.' The Untold Story of Lung King Heen, the World's First Michelin Three-Star Chinese Restaurant," 12 July 2018 His first art exhibition, held in his hometown of Houston in February 2013, led to an improbable invitation to exhibit at Art Dubai — the preeminent contemporary art fair in the Middle East — the very next month. Cynthia Zanone,, "Artist-activist Jumper Maybach, aka Ben Workman, is not clowning around," 6 July 2018 Like his predecessors, Parneros insisted that the chain would move away from selling toys and games and return to its identity as the nation’s preeminent bookseller. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is Barnes & Noble Too Big to Fail?," 6 July 2018

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.

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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

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Last Updated

26 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for preeminent

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

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English Language Learners Definition of preeminent

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

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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