[ em-uh-nuhn-see ]
/ ˈɛm ə nən si /
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noun, plural em·i·nen·cies.

a less common variant of eminence.



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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does eminency mean?

Eminency is a much less common variant of eminence—a position of superiority, high rank or status, or fame.

Both words mean the state of being eminent—high in station, rank, or reputation. Someone who is eminent is prominent or distinguished in some way, especially within a particular field. The word is often associated with scholars.

Eminence is similar to prominence but is perhaps even more positive. Someone who is prominent is well-known and often important. Someone who is considered eminent is often both well-known and well-respected. Still, the words are often used in overlapping ways.

Eminence is used in a more specific way as a title or a way of addressing a high-ranking official within a hierarchy. In the Catholic Church, it’s used to address a cardinal. Eminency is sometimes used this way as well. When it is, it’s usually capitalized and used with a pronoun, as in Your Eminency. 

Example: He has achieved eminency in his field of study and is one of the most highly regarded academics in the nation.

Where does eminency come from?

The word eminency has been used since at least the 1600s. Eminency is first recorded earlier, around 1400. It comes from the Latin ēminentia, from the verb ēminēre, meaning “to stand out.” The suffix -ency is used in nouns to indicate a state or condition and corresponds to the suffix -ent in adjectives (such as eminent).

People who have achieved eminence (or eminency) stand out in their field. But eminency is rarely used in this way. It’s still sometimes used as a way to refer to a high-ranking official, especially a Catholic cardinal.

Eminency should not be confused with imminency, which is the state of being imminent—likely to occur at any time. The word imminence is more commonly used.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to eminency?

What are some synonyms for eminency?

What are some words that share a root or word element with eminency

What are some words that often get used in discussing eminency?

What are some words eminency may be commonly confused with?

How is eminency used in real life?

Eminency is much less commonly used than eminence.


Try using eminency!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of eminency?

A. prominence
B. prestige
C. obscurity
D. fame

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