Share this entry

Share this page

supreme

Line breaks: su|preme
Pronunciation: /suːˈpriːm
 
/

Definition of supreme in English:

adjective

1Highest in rank or authority: a unified force with a supreme commander
More example sentences
  • The commanders in chief exercised supreme authority in their respective zones and acted in concert on questions affecting the whole country.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Synonyms
1.1Most important or powerful: on the race track he reigned supreme
More example sentences
  • The dinosaurs reigned supreme for 135 million years, until another comet colliding with Earth took them out.
  • Daddy was obliterated and the Chief reigned supreme!
  • Gunpowder reigned supreme until the invention of more powerful substances, notably nitroglycerin and its offshoot, dynamite.
2Very great or the greatest: he was nerving himself for a supreme effort
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Synonyms
extraordinary, remarkable, incredible, extreme, intense, great, phenomenal, rare, surpassing, exceptional, outstanding, incomparable, inimitable, unparalleled, unrivalled, peerless, greatest, utmost, uttermost, maximum;
severe, acute
2.1 [postpositive] Very good at or well known for a specified activity: people expected the marathon runner supreme to win
2.2(Of a penalty or sacrifice) involving death: our comrades who made the supreme sacrifice
More example sentences
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
Synonyms
final, last, ultimate;
fatal, lethal, mortal

noun

Back to top  
1 (also suprême /suːˈprɛm/) [mass noun] A rich cream sauce.
1.1A dish served in a supreme sauce: chicken supreme
[from French suprême]

Origin

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

Phrases

the Supreme Being

1
A name for God.
Example sentences
  • There is ongoing interdependence between the living, the living-dead (those remembered by name), spirits and divinities, and the Supreme Being.
  • All that they require, by the way, is a belief in a Supreme Being - a monotheist god or absolute reality.
  • Contrary to prevailing misconceptions, Hindus all worship a one Supreme Being, though by different names.

Derivatives

supremely

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • In general, it occurs only when they are either supremely confident or extremely desperate.
  • To sacrifice so many lives on the altar of a better tomorrow is the act either of the supremely confident or the desperately unsure.
  • The girl, in particular, is supremely effective at conveying an air of sinister vulnerability.

Definition of supreme in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day jaunt
Pronunciation: jônt
noun
a short excursion or journey for pleasure