Definition of supreme in English:



  • 1Highest in rank or authority:

    ‘a unified force with a supreme commander’
    • ‘The 1945 Constitution stipulates that the President holds supreme authority over the Army, Navy and Air Force.’
    • ‘The boyars and their fortified towns submitted to Samuil's supreme authority.’
    • ‘He retired as supreme commander of the German armed forces in 1911, but re-entered the army in 1914.’
    • ‘Most traditional African religions believe in one supreme being who acts through spirits and ancestors.’
    • ‘Unity can be achieved only by maintaining a strict homogeneity of views or submission or subordination to a single authority, necessarily the supreme leader of the Communist Party.’
    • ‘The army followed the Military Code, which allowed it a direct path of communication to the president as the supreme authority of the armed forces.’
    • ‘Would you be willing, as supreme commander, to share intelligence with Bulgaria?’
    • ‘No one author is considered the supreme authority.’
    • ‘The commanders in chief exercised supreme authority in their respective zones and acted in concert on questions affecting the whole country.’
    • ‘Although still nominally subject to the eastern empire, Odoacer as a result became the supreme authority in Italy.’
    • ‘In international law, dating from 1648, sovereignty is described as supreme authority over a territory, free from all external control.’
    • ‘The final third of the book is concerned with Ike's service as supreme commander.’
    • ‘It was also entirely possible, although I don't recall, that the president would also have to put his signature on a document as the supreme authority in the Niger regime.’
    • ‘All were open, written, sovereign authorizations by supreme authorities, and all employed a common medieval legal formula and language.’
    • ‘If you wish to attempt to do so, you must bear in mind that a dictator is a ruler having absolute authority and supreme jurisdiction over the government of a state.’
    • ‘I think the Supreme Court, and indeed the Indian constitution, should be the supreme authority over interpretation of laws.’
    • ‘The federal courts have long recognized that when it comes to waging war, the President, not Congress or the courts, is the supreme authority.’
    • ‘Those political philosophies and religions that vest supreme authority in the individual are far more difficult to organize than those that can evoke some higher power.’
    • ‘The concept of sovereignty - that national governments exercise supreme authority within their own borders - is the bedrock of global order.’
    • ‘You, therefore, are our supreme authority, and yet you are unaccountable to us.’
    highest ranking, highest, leading, chief, head, top, foremost, principal, superior, premier, first, cardinal, prime, sovereign
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    1. 1.1 Most important or powerful:
      ‘on the race track he reigned supreme’
      • ‘Daddy was obliterated and the Chief reigned supreme!’
      • ‘Then, when the attack did come, confusion reigned supreme - and not just in the initial minutes, but for hours, days and years.’
      • ‘China would reign supreme in Asia with even Tokyo and Seoul kowtowing to Beijing.’
      • ‘Gunpowder reigned supreme until the invention of more powerful substances, notably nitroglycerin and its offshoot, dynamite.’
      • ‘The door slammed behind her, and absolute silence reigned supreme for several moments.’
      • ‘He reins supreme in every genre of entertainment ever.’
      • ‘Tolerance and a diversity of people reigned supreme here.’
      • ‘Picture the world of the 1980s, a world where Reagan and anti-communist propaganda reigned supreme.’
      • ‘The underdogs reigned supreme as stars succumbed to fatigue’
      • ‘By far the biggest indicator of slowdown of late has been the dip in the value of the dollar that reigned supreme for the past 10 years, as the US enjoyed its longest boom.’
      • ‘In the individual female competition, the Russian school, with its trademark artistry and excellent choreography, again reigned supreme.’
      • ‘The dinosaurs reigned supreme for 135 million years, until another comet colliding with Earth took them out.’
      • ‘Here, the living characters are largely dispensable whereas the curse rules supreme.’
      • ‘There are two powers, young man, which reign supreme in human affairs.’
      • ‘Matt Damon reigned supreme at the box office this weekend.’
      • ‘For 17 years, she reigned supreme in the speed department, and in the time of war, she could be converted into a troopship within 24 hours.’
      • ‘By the mid-'60s, however, a different type of oppression reigned supreme.’
      • ‘In fact, Galen's influence reined supreme over medicine for 15 centuries after his death.’
      • ‘My father was born in Laos in 1952, when the monarchy ruled supreme there.’
      • ‘As long as the belief in progress reigned supreme people could not see this fallacy in the theory of evolution by natural selection.’
  • 2Very great or the greatest:

    ‘he was nerving himself for a supreme effort’
    • ‘Anway, thanks to the supreme efforts of all those involved, it went well, and people seemed to enjoy themselves.’
    • ‘By a supreme irony, Pentheus is destroyed by the very qualities he denies.’
    • ‘Rochdale's engineers made a supreme effort to help fight the war.’
    • ‘The recipient summoned up the strength to write it down, even though it cost a supreme effort.’
    • ‘York is one of a small number of English cities of supreme importance precisely because of its heritage.’
    • ‘It's a mighty piece of work and you should appreciate the supreme effort it's going to take you to get a copy of this because it is truly worth it.’
    • ‘This could be because their problems are all going on inside their heads or they have made a supreme effort to hide their condition.’
    • ‘The players put in a supreme effort and all the mentors and club members can be justly proud of their achievements.’
    • ‘With a supreme effort of will, I manage to look away from the large mirror.’
    • ‘I knew that holding the candy in her plump little hands all that time without unwrapping it represented a supreme effort of the will for my incurably chocoholic daughter.’
    • ‘The ground was drenched in rain and bombarded by hailstones until it resembled an ice-rink and it took a supreme effort from the ground staff to restrict the time loss to 90 minutes.’
    • ‘It takes a supreme effort from every player on a team to secure victory.’
    • ‘The court must keep in mind that solicitor-client privilege is both a principle of fundamental justice and a civil right of supreme importance in Canadian law.’
    • ‘I was lucky in that I already knew about half the people there, but it seemed very easy to wander up and talk to the ones I didn't know, primarily because of the supreme efforts of our host and his team of helpers to make us feel at home.’
    • ‘The supreme irony of this is that there was a journalist in that crowd!’
    • ‘I've always found it a matter of supreme irony that she shares my name.’
    • ‘With a supreme effort of will, she forced herself to examine her surroundings through the haze of pain that threatened to pull her back to the shadows she had recently departed.’
    • ‘He worked on productions with supreme confidence and authority.’
    • ‘Men will compete for the most supreme anecdote, joke, incident, or put down.’
    • ‘Coaches and athletes, some of them interviewed anonymously, say that after one supreme national effort, the hothouse intensity of the Chinese way will not survive the 2008 games.’
    extraordinary, remarkable, incredible, extreme, intense, great, phenomenal, rare, surpassing, exceptional, outstanding, incomparable, inimitable, unparalleled, unrivalled, peerless, greatest, utmost, uttermost, maximum
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    1. 2.1[postpositive] Very good at or well known for a specified activity:
      ‘people expected the marathon runner supreme to win’
      very good, superb, outstanding, magnificent, of high quality, of the highest quality, of the highest standard, exceptional, marvellous, wonderful, sublime, perfect, eminent, pre-eminent, matchless, peerless, first-rate, first-class, superior, superlative, splendid, admirable, worthy, sterling, fine
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    2. 2.2 (of a penalty or sacrifice) involving death:
      ‘our comrades who made the supreme sacrifice’
      • ‘She was making the supreme sacrifice of her life.’
      • ‘For our sake, they had left their families behind and society should be indebted to such supreme sacrifices, they noted.’
      • ‘What is there to say to the anguished mother who asks why her child's death wasn't important enough to warrant the supreme penalty?’
      • ‘If that turned out to be the truth, would that give you pause on any case you're handling, with regard to the supreme penalty?’
      • ‘The perpetrators of violence are ready for supreme sacrifices.’
      • ‘Today many Western Isles villages are derelict as a result of war losses, including hamlets where some of my relations who made the supreme sacrifice were reared.’
      • ‘It is very important because this is one time in the year we all get together to remember those who paid the supreme sacrifice.’
      • ‘He takes along two companions - and from their heroic stance, we know, some of them are to make the supreme sacrifice soon.’
      • ‘They would want to send more young men and women to make the supreme sacrifice.’
      • ‘Only Sir William Wallace demonstrated a single-minded resistance to English rule, for which he paid the supreme penalty in 1305.’
      • ‘Their names are engraved in plaques on this monument, as are the names of our Aboriginal men who paid the supreme sacrifice during the Second World War.’
      • ‘What drives them to leave behind all the pleasures of a settled life and make the supreme sacrifice for the nation without even the slightest of hesitations?’
      • ‘When nations are engaged in deadly strife, it is common for patriots to declare that he who gives his life for defense of his country may be certain of a home in heaven because of having made the supreme sacrifice.’
      • ‘He was a flying officer before making the supreme sacrifice in June 1944.’
      • ‘Numerous reporters across the world have paid the supreme sacrifice for either trying to seek the truth or telling the facts.’
      • ‘We want to pay our tribute to those loved ones, those departed individuals who made the supreme sacrifice here on the basis of their opinions about how this thing ought to be handled.’
      • ‘Why should his supreme sacrifice for his country be fair game for those who would stoop to destroy the reputation of an American hero for mere political gain?’
      • ‘This is my humble salute to their supreme sacrifice.’
      • ‘I can hear the sound of millions of bodies turning in their graves, having made the supreme sacrifice so we could enjoy freedom and democracy.’
      • ‘Many continued to make the supreme sacrifice in Korea and the Cold War.’
      final, last, ultimate
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  • 1[mass noun] A rich cream sauce.

    1. 1.1 A dish served in a supreme sauce:
      ‘chicken supreme’


Late 15th century (in the sense ‘highest’): from Latin supremus, superlative of superus that is above, from super above.