1 a : the perfect form or example of something : quintessence
b : the highest or best part of something : peak
2 : elevation to divine status : deification
Did You Know?
Among the ancient Greeks, it was sometimes thought fitting—or simply handy, say if you wanted a god somewhere in your bloodline—to grant someone or other "god" status. So they created the word apotheōsis, from the verb apotheoun, meaning "to deify." (The prefix apo- can mean "off," "from," or "away," and theos is the Greek word for "god.") There's not a lot of Greek-style apotheosizing in the 21st century, but there is hero-worship. Our extended use of apotheosis as "elevation to divine status" is the equivalent of "placement on a very high pedestal." Even more common these days is to use apotheosis in reference to a perfect example or ultimate form. For example, one might describe a movie as "the apotheosis of the sci-fi movie genre."
"Four decades after its box office debut, Grease remains a cultural phenomenon.… [Olivia] Newton-John is particularly stellar, with her charming persona and spotless soprano voice making the film the apotheosis of her '70s superstardom." — Billboard.com, 4 Oct. 2018
"In 2018, this adaptation [of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451] speaks to the apotheosis of social media, to the approach of authoritarianism, and to any other anxieties about the self-surveillance state that you might harbor." — Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, 18 May 2018
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of apotheosis meaning "the perfect form or example": NPAORGA.VIEW THE ANSWER
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