Definition of eminence in English:



  • 1Fame or recognized superiority, especially within a particular sphere or profession.

    ‘her eminence in cinematography’
    • ‘This is especially so if the expert is a man of great eminence and therefore likely to be respected, effective and persuasive.’
    • ‘The honorary position is seen as a reward for professional eminence in the field.’
    • ‘To achieve such eminence, there are doubtless various devices and elements in a novel which are more or less compulsory: crime fiction has to have a crime, for example.’
    • ‘‘I feel absolutely delighted but very humbled to have been included in this roster of eminence,’ she said.’
    • ‘There are certain men and women who by reason of their genius, eminence, achievement, or idiosyncrasy seem to exercise a sort of magnetism on biographers and publishers.’
    • ‘The Edinburgh operation is in a very healthy situation, we are encountering very significant growth, and we can build on our core talents to operate from a position of eminence and strength in these competitive markets.’
    • ‘Some authors have been surprised that their eminence hasn't protected them from a mauling at the hands of ‘the mad, the bad, and the misinformed.’’
    • ‘Salieri, who has risen from humble origins to his position of eminence through sheer hard work, is a deeply devout man.’
    • ‘Early nationalists in search of martial heroes raised him to the eminence of a ‘freedom fighter‘.’
    • ‘While retaining strong connections with his roots, he progressed inexorably from unexceptional beginnings to a position of some eminence in Vienna.’
    • ‘James, by contrast, has risen to a heady eminence which serves to further emphasize the humiliation of his sibling.’
    • ‘He cites the eminence and experience of the writers, showing that they are not mere hacks but people with a reputation to maintain.’
    • ‘And when eventually he realised the nature of the complaint, his defence fell back on the eminence of the good Sir Richard.’
    • ‘For eighteenth-century Europeans that was still the case, but, for west European intellectuals at least, Europe enjoyed an eminence over the rest of the world for secular reasons as well.’
    • ‘Among the many ways Britain has been different from the continent has been not only the number but the eminence of female Sovereigns.’
    • ‘She is also renowned for the eminence of her contacts.’
    • ‘From modest roots, his rise to eminence was all the more remarkable.’
    illustriousness, distinction, renown, pre-eminence, notability, greatness, calibre, prestige, importance, reputation, repute, note
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    1. 1.1An important, influential, or distinguished person.
      ‘the Lord Chancellor canvassed the views of various legal eminences’
      • ‘I came to suspect that my obit-writing guaranteed these eminences something like eternal life.’
      • ‘Will there be letters from eminences and celebs to bring glitter to the letters page?’
      • ‘Intellectual life was not so dissimilar, vitality after the war coming largely from external sources, émigrés from Central and Eastern Europe, with few local eminences.’
      • ‘Look at eminences in the past, and what stands out in their childhoods is an animus toward school, a tolerance for solitude and families with lots of books.’
      • ‘The 44 eminences charge that Britain's apparent lack of transparency and accountability threatens to undermine whatever moral high ground there is left.’
      • ‘The male cheerleader was something of a campus eminence, regarded as an up-and-coming entrepreneur and future captain of industry.’
      • ‘No wonder two film eminences have been trying to bring the lady's life to the screen.’
      • ‘These were serious times, with the governing taste set by eminences from abroad.’
      • ‘This was the perfect voice to carry pop culture through the mid-60s, till things went tragic and the Beatles turned into eminences cloistered enough to be their own parodies.’
      • ‘This point was driven home a few weeks later when, at a dinner for scientific eminences, a colleague introduced me to one of the nation's leading neuroscientists.’
      • ‘Generations of very clever Foreign Office eminences have devoted their meagre resources to just one futile aim - punching above our weight on the world stage.’
      • ‘The great railway barons, corrupt legislators, and assorted judicial eminences who made the legal history of American railroads are given only the most scant personal attention.’
      • ‘Margaret Atwood is one of the eminences of Canadian literature.’
      important person, influential person, distinguished person, dignitary, luminary, worthy, grandee, notable, notability, personage, leading light, vip
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    2. 1.2A title given to a Roman Catholic cardinal, or used in addressing him.
      ‘His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Wolsey’
      • ‘So the Community is particularly touched this evening by the visit of His Eminence, Cardinal Rodriguez and the topic of the Lecture, ‘Signs of Hope’.’
      • ‘And when mourners of every age, race, and creed praised him as a great man, I wondered what His Eminence had done to merit those words.’
      • ‘I curtsied low and said, ‘Good evening, Your Eminence.’’
      • ‘As a peace offering, Liam gave the priest a small bottle of whisky for free, ‘just in case His Eminence might fancy something a bit stronger in the morning.’’
      • ‘‘In the courtyard, Your Eminence,’ replied Cygnatus, extending his arm toward the atrium.’
      • ‘The Church was dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary on 3 October 1875 by His Eminence Paul Cardinal Cullen, Archbishop of Dublin…’
      • ‘I beg your forgiveness, Your Eminence, but we don't have any boards and considering the depth of the pit the wood will surely break.’
      • ‘Would Your Eminence be so magnanimous as to enlighten your most loyal servant to the identities?’
      • ‘The blind must not lead the blind, Your Eminence.’
      • ‘The parade will be reviewed from the steps of Saint Patrick's Cathedral by His Eminence Cardinal Edward Eagan, Archbishop of New York.’
  • 2formal, literary A piece of rising ground.

    ‘an eminence commanding the River Emme’
    • ‘The edifice… is built upon a beautiful eminence, on the Philadelphia road, affording on all sides, an extensive, and delightful view, with charming rural scenery, on every side.’
    • ‘The Armory was described by one British visitor as ‘beautifully situated on an eminence overlooking the town.’’
    • ‘But the most impressive structures along what became the A40 were the three big monumental brick blocks rising on the north side on an eminence at Park Royal.’
    • ‘I thought we were never going to reach it; and then, almost unexpectedly, we suddenly came upon it - a small but ancient village, rising up on a slight eminence, but concealed from view by big clumps of tall-growing reeds.’
    • ‘A striking iceberg that I had seen photos of before had two foothill eminences joined at the top by a soaring St. Louis Gateway Arch of ice.’
    • ‘Upriver loomed the rocky eminence of Nephin Mountain.’
    • ‘The two gentlemen enjoy a philosophic view of the early morning landscape from a neighbouring eminence, Mazard Hill.’
    • ‘We have some gently rounded, wooded, eminences.’
    • ‘Join us for five days of hiking around Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn Peaks, complete with deep valleys, rocky eminences, alpine tundra, and towering mountains.’
    • ‘There was in fact a splendid view of the mine from the eminence of the hill, even better than the one from Fred and Peggy's bungalow.’
    • ‘By the standards of most of England, East Anglia is a low-lying and relatively flat region, but there is in fact much variability in topography and even low hills form clear local eminences.’
    elevation, rise, raised ground, rising ground, height, hill, bank, mound
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    1. 2.1Anatomy A slight projection from the surface of a part of the body.
      • ‘The examiner's thumbs are placed on either side of the bony eminences of the tunnel (the scaphoid on one side and the pisiform and hamate on the other.)’
      • ‘Note the relationship between the intercondylar eminence and the posterior cruciate ligament.’
      • ‘They are separated by an upward projection called the intercondylar eminence.’
      • ‘Shaking the patient's hand at the end of the consultation, the doctor noticed a raised lesion on the thenar eminence of his right hand.’
      • ‘The articular eminence of the glenoid fossa is rectangular and broad transversely.’
      • ‘Before reaching the anterior margin, there is a low eminence on the paracristid crest and an expansion of its lingual surface, these features marking the position of the paraconid.’
      • ‘Therefore, all bony structures of the face, including the malar eminences, orbital rims, zygomatic arches, mandible, and teeth, should be carefully inspected and palpated for irregularity or tenderness.’
      • ‘The origin of the tibial coordinate system was selected as the point midway between the tibial eminences on the proximal end of the tibia.’
      • ‘The neurohypophysis proper comprises the median eminence of the tuber cinereum, the infundibulum, the pituitary stalk, and the posterior or neural lobe of the pituitary gland.’
      • ‘An accessory spine behind the ileopectineal eminence occasionally provides an attachment site for the psoas minor muscle.’


Middle English: from Latin eminentia, from eminere jut, project.