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nonpareil

[non-puh-rel] /ˌnɒn pəˈrɛl/
adjective
1.
having no equal; peerless.
noun
2.
a person or thing having no equal.
3.
a small pellet of colored sugar for decorating candy, cake, and cookies.
4.
a flat, round, bite-sized piece of chocolate covered with this sugar.
6.
Printing.
  1. a 6-point type.
  2. a slug occupying 6 points of space between lines.
Origin of nonpareil
late Middle English
1400-1450
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)
Synonyms
1. unparalleled. 2. nonesuch.
Antonyms
1. ordinary.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for nonpareil
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The phœnix,” she sighed, “the paragon, the nonpareil of the buttery.

    The Lady of Loyalty House Justin Huntly McCarthy
  • You know it; in that yallow building over by nonpareil Square.

  • At that time there was a coach called the “nonpareil,” running from Devonport to Bristol.

    Hints on Driving C. S. Ward
  • The “nonpareil” was then taken off, and they started a coach called the “Tally Ho!”

    Hints on Driving C. S. Ward
  • Two nonpareil columns had to be filled, and I was getting along.

    Roughing It Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • It belongs to the nonpareil family, and is valuable as a late winter apple.

    British Pomology Robert Hogg
  • It is generally allowed that the nonpareil is originally from France.

    British Pomology Robert Hogg
  • These are made in lengths of one yard and in sizes of 6-point (nonpareil), 12-point (pica), and 18-point.

    Typesetting A. A. Stewart
  • Sprinkle the top with nonpareil candies, and place in ice box.

British Dictionary definitions for nonpareil

nonpareil

/ˈnɒnpərəl; ˌnɒnpəˈreɪl/
noun
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.
(mainly US) a flat round piece of chocolate covered with this sugar
adjective
5.
having no match or equal; peerless
Word Origin
C15: from French, from non- + pareil same
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 nonpareil
adj.

late 15c., "having no equal," from Middle French nonpareil "unequalled, peerless," from non- "not" (see non-) + pareil "equal." The noun meaning "an unequaled person or thing" is from 1590s; first applied to a kind of candy 1690s. As the name of a printing type (6 point size) it is attested from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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