Tuesday, January 7, 2014


nonpareil [nɒnpəˈrɛl] a.

1.) Having no equal; unequalled, peerless.

nonpareil [nɒnpəˈrɛl] n.

1.) A person or thing having no equal; something unique.
2.) Printing. A size of type intermediate between emerald and ruby (in America, between minion and agate).
3.) A kind of comfit.
4.) A kind of apple.
5.) A small beautifully coloured finch of the southern United States, Cyanospiza (Emberiza) ciris.
6.) The rose parrakeet, Platycerus eximius.
7.) A kind of wheat.
8.) A name for several beautiful moths (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: Middle English nounparalle, from Old French nonpareil: non- + pareil, equal (from Vulgar Latin pariculus, diminutive of Latin par, equal.

"For Whom, intoned, toneless, zombily stoned; and the little For Whom jingle—J.D. Steelritter has an ear nonpareil for jingles—has stuck and sunk through that sleep-deprived ear and is there, rattling, unfindable-penny-in-drier-like, in the head of J.D. Steelritter, a head that is fine, perfectly round, freckled of brow, scimitarred of nose, generous and wet of lower lip, quick to center on anything oral" ("Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way," David Foster Wallace, 1989).

(Helen of Troy, Edward Poynter, 1881)