preeminent adj : greatest in importance or degree or significance or achievement; "our greatest statesmen"; "the country's leading poet"; "a preeminent archeologist" [syn: greatest, leading(a)]
- The most important; greatest.
Greatness or preeminence is a concept that is heavily dependent on a person's perspective and biases. The term can be used to emphasize perceived superiority of a person or thing. In Europe the most lauded rulers were given the attribute "the Great" (e.g. Alfred the Great, Peter the Great), or during the Roman Era and Middle Ages, the Latin title for "the Great" (Magnus) was used (e.g. Albertus Magnus).
The greatest art and literary works have entered the English language as: magnus opus, literally meaning "great work" in Latin.
Lists of great things
Lists may be assembled of great people, things, and places, but they are by their very nature subjective. Such lists may be formulated by panels of experts, by polls, or by an individual. Such lists are never definitive since they are subject to the opinion of the assembler.
Some examples are:
absolute, acmatic, all-absorbing, apical, arch, ascendant, authoritarian, authoritative, authorized, autocratic, banner, capital, cardinal, central, champion, chief, clothed with authority, commanding, competent, consequential, considerable, consummate, controlling, crowning, dominant, duly constituted, eminent, empowered, ex officio, first, focal, foremost, governing, great, head, headmost, hegemonic, hegemonistic, highest, imperative, important, incomparable, influential, leading, magisterial, main, major, master, maximal, maximum, meridian, meridional, mighty, momentous, monocratic, number one, official, outstanding, overmost, overriding, overruling, paramount, potent, powerful, predominant, premier, preponderant, prestigious, prevailing, primal, primary, prime, principal, prominent, puissant, ranking, ruling, senior, sovereign, star, stellar, substantial, summital, supereminent, superior, supreme, surpassing, tip-top, top, topflight, topmost, totalitarian, towering, transcendent, ultimate, unmatchable, unsurpassable, upmost, uppermost, vertical, weighty, zenithal