having no equal; peerless.
a person or thing having no equal.
a small pellet of colored sugar for decorating candy, cake, and cookies.
a flat, round, bite-sized piece of chocolate covered with this sugar.
a 6-point type.
a slug occupying 6 points of space between lines.

1400–50; late Middle English nonparaille < Middle French nonpareil, equivalent to non- non- + pareil equal < Vulgar Latin *pariculum (Latin pari- (stem of pār) equal + -culum -cule1)

1. unparalleled. 2. nonesuch.

1. ordinary. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nonpareil (ˈnɒnpərəl, ˌnɒnpəˈreɪl)
1.  a person or thing that is unsurpassed or unmatched; peerless example
2.  (formerly) a size of printers' type equal to 6 point
3.  (US) a small bead of coloured sugar used to decorate cakes, biscuits, etc
4.  chiefly (US) a flat round piece of chocolate covered with this sugar
5.  having no match or equal; peerless
[C15: from French, from non- + pareil same]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1477 (adj.), "having no equal," from M.Fr. nonpareil "unequalled," from non- "not" + pareil "equal." The noun meaning "an unequaled person or thing" is from 1593; first applied to a kind of candy 1697. As the name of a printing type (6 point size) it is attested from 1647.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

Nonpareil definition

One of five pedagogical languages based on Markov algorithms, used in ["Nonpareil, a Machine Level Machine Independent Language for the Study of Semantics", B. Higman, ULICS Intl Report No ICSI 170, U London (1968)]. The others were Brilliant, Diamond, Pearl and Ruby.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
The food wasn't special, but the atmosphere was nonpareil.
The room itself was by all accounts a treasure nonpareil.
These grim situations attracted relentless media attention: family plus snow plus stranded equals human-interest story nonpareil.
The quality of ingredients and cooking style are nonpareil.
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