acme

acme

[ak-mee]
noun
the highest point; summit; peak: The empire was at the acme of its power.

Origin:
1610–20; < Greek akmḗ point, highest point, extremity

acmic [ak-mik] , acmatic [ak-mat-ik] , adjective

acme, acne.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
acme (ˈækmɪ)
 
n
the culminating point, as of achievement or excellence; summit; peak
 
[C16: from Greek akmē]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

acme
"highest point," 1560s, from Gk. akme "(highest) point," from PIE base *ak- "sharp" (see acrid). Written in Gk. letters until c.1620.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

Acme

n. The canonical supplier of bizarre, elaborate, and non-functional gadgetry - where Rube Goldberg and Heath Robinson (two cartoonists who specialized in elaborate contraptions) shop. The name has been humorously expanded as A (or American) Company Making Everything. (In fact, Acme was a real brand sold from Sears Roebuck catalogs in the early 1900s.) Describing some X as an "Acme X" either means "This is insanely great", or, more likely, "This looks insanely great on paper, but in practice it's really easy to shoot yourself in the foot with it." Compare pistol.

This term, specially cherished by American hackers and explained here for the benefit of our overseas brethren, comes from the Warner Brothers' series of "Roadrunner" cartoons. In these cartoons, the famished Wile E. Coyote was forever attempting to catch up with, trap, and eat the Roadrunner. His attempts usually involved one or more high-technology Rube Goldberg devices - rocket jetpacks, catapults, magnetic traps, high-powered slingshots, etc. These were usually delivered in large cardboard boxes, labeled prominently with the Acme name. These devices invariably malfunctioned in improbable and violent ways.
FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

ACME definition

company, jargon
/ak'mee/ 1. A Company that Makes Everything. The canonical imaginary business. Possibly also derived from the word "acme" meaning "highest point".
2. A program for MS-DOS.
[What does it do?]
(1994-11-08)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
ACME
Advisory Committee on the Marine Environment
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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