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[em-uh-nuh nt] /ˈɛm ə nənt/
high in station, rank, or repute; prominent; distinguished:
eminent statesmen.
conspicuous, signal, or noteworthy:
eminent fairness.
lofty; high:
eminent peaks.
prominent; projecting; protruding:
an eminent nose.
Origin of eminent
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin ēminent- (stem of ēminēns) outstanding (present participle of ēminēre to stick out, project), equivalent to ē- e-1 + min- (see imminent) + -ent- -ent
Related forms
eminently, adverb
noneminent, adjective
quasi-eminent, adjective
quasi-eminently, adverb
uneminent, adjective
uneminently, adverb
Can be confused
eminent, immanent, imminent.
1. celebrated, renowned, illustrious, outstanding. 2. noted; notable.
1. unknown, obscure.
Synonym Study
1. See famous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for eminent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The actual achievements of the eminent women produced by the system of training then in vogue is proof enough of the statement.

  • The names of eminent foreigners and distinguished Americans are upon its rolls.

    James Cutbush Edgar F. Smith
  • Pornography, an eminent American jurist has pointed out, is distinguished by the "leer of the sensualist."

    1601 Mark Twain
  • To discharge in this way a young man of your merit, an eminent scientist.

    Dona Perfecta B. Perez Galdos
  • In London, you will see around you the most eminent living men of all nations, and in all pursuits.

    Eugene Aram, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for eminent


above others in rank, merit, or reputation; distinguished: an eminent scientist
(prenominal) noteworthy, conspicuous, or outstanding: eminent good sense
projecting or protruding; prominent
Derived Forms
eminently, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin ēminēre to project, stand out, from minēre to stand
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for eminent

early 15c., from Middle French éminent (13c.) or directly from Latin eminentem (nominative eminens), present participle of eminere "stand out, project," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + minere, related to mons "hill" (see mount (n.)). Related: Eminently. Legal eminent domain recorded from 1738.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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