Word of the Day

Saturday September 26, 2009

nonpareil [non-puh-REL]


  1. Something of unequaled excellence; a peerless thing or person.
  2. Colored beads of sugar used as a topping on e.g. candies and cookies.
  3. A flat disk of chocolate covered with beads of colored sugar.
  • No one can deny that the Internet is a life-changer. As a social networking tool, it is nonpareil.
    Bonnie Erbe, "Blogs are fun but often inaccurate, extremists", Beaumont Enterprise, Apr 24, 2009
  • Josh Early's newest products include wafers, nonpareils and pistachio bark made with a chocolate with a higher (72 percent) cocoa content for more antioxidant properties.
    Joanna Poncavage, "Josh Early has 400 ways to say "sweet'", Morning Call, Apr 4, 2009
  • "Powhatan understanding we detained certain salvages, sent his daughter, a child of tenne yeares old, which not only for feature, countenance, and proportion, much exceedeth any of the rest of his people, but for wit and spirit the only nonpareil of his country:"
    Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900) An American essayist and novelist. The Story of Pocahontas

Origin of the Word

Nonpareil, approximately 1477, derives from Medieval French nonpareil "unequalled," from non- "not" + pareil "equal."

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