nonpareil

[ non-puh-rel ]
/ ˌnɒn pəˈrɛl /

adjective

having no equal; peerless.

noun

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.
Printing.
  1. a 6-point type.
  2. a slug occupying 6 points of space between lines.

Origin of nonpareil

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)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nonpareil

British Dictionary definitions for nonpareil

nonpareil

/ (ˈnɒnpərəl, ˌnɒnpəˈreɪl) /

noun

a person or thing that is unsurpassed or unmatched; peerless example
(formerly) a size of printers' type equal to 6 point
US a small bead of coloured sugar used to decorate cakes, biscuits, etc
mainly US a flat round piece of chocolate covered with this sugar

adjective

having no match or equal; peerless

Word Origin for nonpareil

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

Word Origin and History for nonpareil

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