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 Over the last decade, Renee Erickson has emerged as one of Seattle’s preeminent chefs and restaurateurs. Renee Erickson, Robb Report, 25 May 2021 His wife and children (including 6-year-old John Hope Franklin, the preeminent historian and founding chair of NMAAHC’s Scholarly Advisory Committee) planned to join him at the end of May. Paul Gardullo, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 May 2021 According to the preeminent wedding website The Knot, while a typical wedding sees an RSVP decline rate of about 15%, destination weddings see anywhere from 20% to 30% of guests decline to attend. Author: Wayne And Wanda, Anchorage Daily News, 23 May 2021 But at his funeral in his hometown on March 3, 1965, Jackson's place in history would be spelled out clearly by the preeminent leader of the civil rights movement. USA Today, 20 May 2021 In electric specialty performance cars, handling, packaging, and clever design will be preeminent. Mark Ewing, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2021 Aluminum-ion technology has intrinsic advantages and disadvantages over the preeminent lithium-ion battery technology being used in almost every EV today. Michael Taylor, Forbes, 13 May 2021 However, the stands and infield that normally can accommodate 130,000 for Baltimore’s preeminent horse racing day will be available only for 10,000. Katherine Fominykh,, 13 May 2021 Switzerland’s preeminent private bank for the ultra-wealthy. Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2021

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

2 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Preeminent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for preeminent



English Language Learners Definition of preeminent

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


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