[ non-puh-rel ]
/ ˌnɒn pəˈrɛl /
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having no equal; peerless.


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



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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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. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for nonpareil

British Dictionary definitions for nonpareil

/ (ˈnɒnpərəl, ˌnɒnpəˈreɪl) /


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


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