Definition of pre-eminent in English:
- We asked William Diamond, pre-eminent expert in international taxation, for his picks.
- The Taj Mahal, in spite of its pre-eminent position in our heritage hierarchy, has not escaped this fate either.
- He's the world's pre-eminent expert on psychopathy and a regular advisor to the FBI.
Late Middle English: from Latin praeeminent- 'towering above, excelling', from the verb praeeminere, from prae 'before' + eminere 'stand out'.
eminent from Late Middle English:
Eminent ‘outstanding’ and eminence (Middle English) go back to Latin eminere ‘jut, project’. The French expression éminence grise, literally ‘grey eminence’ for someone who has power without an official position, has been used in English since the 1930s. The term was originally used in French of His Eminence the Cardinal Richelieu's grey-cloaked private secretary, Père Joseph ( 1577–1638). The Latin eminere is also found in pre-eminent (Late Middle English) and prominent (Late Middle English).
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