Definition of nonpareil in English:



  • Having no match or equal; unrivalled.

    ‘he is a nonpareil storyteller’
    [postpositive] ‘a film critic nonpareil’
    • ‘The nonpareil recording, a flirty and spontaneous duet between Elis Regina and Jobim himself, makes more sense to me in Portugese.’
    • ‘But the one instrument on which he was nonpareil was the harmonica, which he mastered himself.’
    • ‘Two years ago, Rothbart took this lifelong hobby and turned it into a nonpareil magazine.’
    • ‘The name Pat Cash still conjures images of a fighter nonpareil and of an untiring athlete overreaching physical limits to reach his target.’
    • ‘The key to its success was Mohanlal, an actor nonpareil, in the central role of a low-caste artist who transcends his origins, only to be felled by the love of a princess.’
    • ‘Tristan and Isolde could not understand how their moment of nonpareil bliss might sustain a lifetime's happiness in the everyday world.’
    • ‘Watching him translate for his father, Kyle seems unfazed about his nonpareil ability, remaining nonchalant to the film crew buzzing round him.’
    • ‘Throughout, Sclavis manages to combine an impressive variety of styles, genres and influences, creating a nonpareil experience for the listener.’
    • ‘Of course, Jordan's past marketing successes in many ways, went hand-in-hand with his status as an athlete nonpareil.’
    • ‘Even Bryan Singer cites Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon as the inspiration for his nonpareil take on the thriller in The Usual Suspects.’
    • ‘For warmth and comfort nonpareil, try on these.’
    incomparable, matchless, unrivalled, unparalleled, unequalled, without equal, peerless, unmatched, beyond comparison, beyond compare, second to none, unsurpassed, unsurpassable, unbeatable, inimitable
    unique, consummate, perfect, rare, exquisite, transcendent, surpassing, superlative, supreme
    View synonyms


  • 1An unrivalled or matchless person or thing.

    ‘a great player, Britain's nonpareil of the 1980s’
    • ‘The current nonpareil of the genre is the mammoth bestseller He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys.’
    • ‘Having just won the US Open, Tom Watson was the nonpareil of golf when he came to Scotland to a course that was staging its first Open as a Royal club.’
    • ‘For some reason, he failed to mention the nonpareil: Nelson Algren.’
    • ‘Cisco, the nonpareil of networking equipment makers and at one time the sine qua non of tech stocks is feeling the pinch.’
    • ‘Of course you would say that Tara, you're a nonpareil in school!’
    best, finest, paragon, crème de la crème, peak of perfection, elite, jewel, jewel in the crown, gem
    ne plus ultra
    the best this side of …, the finest this side of …
    View synonyms
  • 2US A flat round confection made of chocolate covered with white sugar sprinkles.

    • ‘Now shipping, Concession Obsession replicates filmgoers' favorite munchies: indulgent vanilla bean ice cream studded with nonpareils, chocolate-laden peanuts, crispy candy bars and caramel swirls.’
  • 3Printing
    [mass noun] An old type size equal to six points (larger than ruby).


Late Middle English: from French, from non- not + pareil equal (from popular Latin pariculus, diminutive of Latin par equal).