Word of the Day Archive
Saturday August 7, 2004
nonpareil \non-puh-REL\ , adjective:
1. Having no equal; peerless.
1. Something of unequaled excellence; a peerless thing or person.
2. A flat disk of chocolate covered with beads of colored sugar.
It's not often that Mike Emrick, the nonpareil hockey voice, errs. His play by play is peerless.
-- Richard Sandomir, "Later Post Ensures That Derby Is Alone for Hammond's Dream Call", New York Times, May 4, 2001
Some birds make and use tools and show evidence of culture, and many are vocalists nonpareil.
-- Bernd Heinrich, "So, This Parrot Comes Into a Bar and Says . . .", New York Times, January 30, 2000
But when it comes to his profession, he is a nonpareil.
-- Peter Andrews, "A Jazzy Murder Case", New York Times, October 30, 1983
Steve Redgrave won his third gold medal at his third successive Olympic Games and we hymned the man as if he were the greatest athlete we had ever seen: a superman, a nonpareil, a demigod walking the earth.
-- Simon Barnes, "Honour and praise to three athletes who graced the sporting arena", Times (London), December 27, 2000
Nonpareil comes from Old French, from non, "not" + pareil, "equal," from (assumed) Vulgar Latin pariculus, diminutive of Latin par, "equal."