Word of the Day : January 10, 2015

ne plus ultra

noun nay-plus-UL-truh


1 : the highest point capable of being attained : acme

2 : the most profound degree of a quality or state

Did You Know?

It's the height, the zenith, the ultimate, the crown, the pinnacle. It's the peak, the summit, the crest, the high-water mark. All these expressions, of course, mean "the highest point attainable." But ne plus ultra may top them all when it comes to expressing in a sophisticated way that something is the pink of perfection. It is said that the term's predecessor, non plus ultra, was inscribed on the Pillars of Hercules at the Strait of Gibraltar, which marked the western end of the classical world. The phrase served as a warning: "(Let there) not (be) more (sailing) beyond." The New Latin version ne plus ultra, meaning "(go) no more beyond," found its way into English in the 1630s.


"Along with the relatively highbrow Stepbrothers, [Dumb and Dumber]'s the ne plus ultra of moron slapstick, the film against which all cretinous child-men assaults on taste must be measured." - David Edelstein, Vulture, November 14, 2014

"Made in tumult and released to a triumph unprecedented in Hollywood's history, 'Gone With the Wind' remains to many people the ne plus ultra of American popular moviemaking." - Chicago Tribune, December 12, 2014

Test Your Vocabulary

What word refers to the point in outer space where an object orbiting the Earth is farthest away from it? The answer is …


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