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

Nasse had help this week from Tony Eury Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s longtime crew chief, who is co-owner of Fury Race Cars, one of the preeminent builders of late-model chassis. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "That first Slinger Speedway visit is a real challenge for Nationals rookies from around the country," 9 July 2019 Lichine Rosés from Provence—the preeminent region in France for producing rosé wine. Sangeeta Singh-kurtz, Quartzy, "Your guide to becoming a rosé expert," 6 July 2019 In honor of Stephen Sondheim's 90th birthday next March, the Queen's Theatre on London's West End will be renamed for the preeminent American musical theater composer following extensive renovations. David Rooney, Billboard, "London Theater to Be Named for Stephen Sondheim," 5 July 2019 Fourteen: One guest at a fundraiser for Williamson’s congressional bid was one of the preeminent advocates for last year’s First Step Act, criminal-justice-reform advocate Kim Kardashian West. Jim Geraghty, National Review, "Twenty Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Marianne Williamson," 1 July 2019 The allegations were Meselhe, a preeminent scientist in his field, conspired with his colleague Hu to illegally download a computer model that forecasts changes to the Mississippi River delta. Beau Evans,, "Should technology to save the coast be available to everyone? A scientist facing charges thinks so," 28 June 2019 Nearby Woods Hole is home to the preeminent school for oceanography. John Konrad,, "The next global tech disruption will happen where few expect it," 28 June 2019 Leonard averaged career highs in scoring and minutes played per game, reestablishing himself as arguably the NBA’s preeminent two-way player. Chris Mannix,, "2019 NBA Free Agency Primer: Rumors, Stakes and More Buzz," 26 June 2019 As a combined company, Caesars and Eldorado will be America’s preeminent gaming company. Regina Garcia Cano,, "Horseshore Casino Baltimore's parent company acquired by Eldorado Resorts," 24 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

Listen to Our Podcast about preeminent

Statistics for preeminent

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preeminent

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for preeminent



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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!