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

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 For decades, Hong Kong styled itself as Asia’s preeminent metropolis, a bustling former British colony at the center of the continent’s trade and logistics networks and the main international gateway to the booming Chinese market. Washington Post, "China strangles its world city," 3 July 2020 In Jamal Adams, the Cowboys would receive one of the NFL’s preeminent safeties. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: Exploring 3 ‘fantasy’ player-for-player trades for the Cowboys, including a deal involving Jamal Adams," 17 June 2020 Back in 1986, Holzel had led the first expedition to search for Mallory and Irvine with Audrey Salkeld, a preeminent Everest historian. Mark Synnott, National Geographic, "Our team climbed Everest to try to solve its greatest mystery," 16 June 2020 Even with the neck injury, Vander Esch still did some things on tape that only a handful of LBs in the entire NFL can dream of doing, such as running with one of the NFL’s preeminent deep threats, Robby Anderson, to take a deep crosser (above clip). John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: 3 Cowboys who will soar in 2020, including how Xavier Woods can evolve into a Pro Bowl-caliber safety," 15 June 2020 Auburn, a preeminent university built upon grassroots values, owes much of its cultural ethos to Dye’s swaggering Southern charm. Joseph Goodman |, al, "Iconic Auburn coach Pat Dye was symbol of SEC toughness," 1 June 2020 In 1993, the Packers weren't one of the preeminent football franchises in the National Football League despite a legendary legacy of success in the Lombardi Era. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "50 in 50: Reggie White signs free-agent deal with the Green Bay Packers," 18 May 2020 Since the late 1950s, the house has been owned by the family of Harold Holden, a wartime doctor who became Hollywood’s preeminent plastic surgeon in the 1940s and ’50s. Los Angeles Times, "Hollywood Hills Mediterranean with the right makeup seeks $5.5 million," 7 May 2020 By signing Griffen, the Cowboys would have the preeminent pass-rush duo in the NFL to go with one of the deepest depth charts in terms of edge-rushing ability. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: A trio of free agents who could still help the Dallas Cowboys," 4 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for preeminent

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

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Last Updated

7 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Preeminent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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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

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