Saturday, November 05, 2005

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Zenith

(Also a heads-up to the wordsmiths out there, Merriam-Webster Dictionary is putting out an open call for new words and neologisms, claim your stake to wordly-fame today!)

zenith \ZEE-nith\ noun

1 : the point of the celestial sphere that is directly opposite the nadir and vertically above the observer
2 : the highest point reached in the heavens by a celestial body
*3 : culminating point : acme

Example sentence:
"Winning a gold medal at the Olympic games would be the zenith of my career," said the skier in a recent interview.

Did you know?
When you reach the zenith, you're at the top, the pinnacle, the summit, the peak. "Zenith" developed from Arabic terms meaning "the way over one's head." As long ago as the 1300s, English speakers used "zenith" to name the highest point in the celestial heavens, directly overhead. By the 1600s, "zenith" was being used in English for other high points as well.

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