summum bonum


sum·​mum bo·​num ˌsu̇-məm-ˈbō-nəm How to pronounce summum bonum (audio)
: the supreme good from which all others are derived

Examples of summum bonum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For champions of progress, who often cite painless dentistry as the summum bonum, the surgery of the premodern period is nothing but a vile species of Grand Guignol. Will Self, Harper’s Magazine , 28 Sep. 2022 As both President Reagan and Nikita Khrushchev understood, in a world where material well-being has replaced more traditional conceptions of the summum bonum, the battlefield is first and foremost at home. Mathis Bitton, National Review, 12 Aug. 2020

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

Word History



First Known Use

1563, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of summum bonum was in 1563

Dictionary Entries Near summum bonum

Cite this Entry

“Summum bonum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

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