: having no equal
Did You Know?
Trace "nonpareil" back to its Middle French origins and you'll find that it comes from a term meaning "not equal." "Pareil" itself comes from a Vulgar Latin form of "par," which means "equal." "Nonpareil" has served as an English adjective since the 15th century, and since the late 16th century it has also functioned as a noun describing an individual of unequaled excellence. In 1612, Captain John Smith used the term in that noun sense (but with a now-archaic spelling): "Pocahontas, Powhatan's daughter ... was the very Nomparell of his kingdome, and at most not past 13 or 14 years of age." And as you may know, "nonpareil" is also the name of a chocolate candy covered with white sugar pellets.
"The show was … held in the original Madison Square Garden, and it was a society event nonpareil." - From an article by Marshall Schuon in the New York Times, April 3, 1994
"Few of them differ much from New York’s typical Italian-American restaurants, but those that stand out are among the best anywhere, including fifth-generation Mario’s, which since 1919 has been crafting nonpareil pizzas along with true Neapolitan food… - From a post by John Mariani on Esquire.com’s Eat Like a Man blog, May 1, 2013
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Fill in the blanks to create a synonym of "nonpareil": mthes. The answer is …
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