pre·​em·​i·​nent prē-ˈe-mə-nənt How to pronounce preeminent (audio)
: having paramount rank, dignity, or importance : outstanding, supreme
preeminently adverb

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What is noteworthy about the following sentence? "Denali Mountain is a prominent eminence on 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." Mount is also a related word: it comes from Latin mont- or mons, meaning "mountain," which shares a common ancestor with -minēre. Mount 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 The preeminent three-day festival usually sells out instantly. Hannah Jackson, Vogue, 12 Apr. 2024 Pistachio Green Mole As Mexican food has grown increasingly popular across the world over the past few decades, Enrique Olvera stands out as one of the preeminent chefs from the country. Anna Luisa Rodriguez, Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2024 Given an opportunity to make some easy money by driving an unidentified package to Mexico, Earl inadvertently becomes the preeminent drug courier for a cartel., 18 Jan. 2024 Kansas City’s preeminent party vendors are scurrying about a rooftop lounge that overlooks the city’s new ferris wheel, all in preparation for celebrating the birthday of their hometown hero. Dianna Mazzone Singh, Allure, 2 Apr. 2024 The 77th edition of the Locarno Film Festival, which is Europe’s preeminent indie cinema event, will run Aug. 7-17. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 28 Mar. 2024 The horizon is a rare event in the landscape photographs of Dawoud Bey, one of this country’s preeminent photographers, whose previous work has been mainly focused on portraiture. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 24 Jan. 2024 In an interview last May, OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman and Stripe co-founder Patrick Collison noted that, for the first time since the 1970s, none of Silicon Valley’s preeminent entrepreneurs are under 30. Jonathan Haidt, The Atlantic, 13 Mar. 2024 Sandy Koufax did too, emerging as the preeminent figure of the team’s early Los Angeles years with his three Cy Young Awards, five ERA titles and four World Series rings before an early retirement at age 30. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2024

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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


Dictionary Entries Near preeminent

Cite this Entry

“Preeminent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


pre·​em·​i·​nent prē-ˈem-ə-nənt How to pronounce preeminent (audio)
: having supreme rank, dignity, or importance : outstanding
preeminently adverb

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