Use nonpareil to describe someone or something that is beyond compare, an absolute model of perfection of a particular thing. Jane Austen was a writer nonpareil, and James Bond a spy nonpareil.

Coming from the medieval French words non, meaning "not," and pareil, meaning "equal," so quite literally it means "not equal" or "unequaled." Like a lot of fancy French terms adopted by the English language (e.g., "bons mots," "eminence gris"), the use of nonpareil is generally restricted to written form. Use with caution.

Definitions of nonpareil
  1. noun
    model of excellence or perfection of a kind; one having no equal
    synonyms: apotheosis, ideal, nonesuch, nonsuch, paragon, saint
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    crackerjack, jimdandy, jimhickey
    someone excellent of their kind
    class act
    someone who shows impressive and stylish excellence
    someone of remarkable excellence
    type of:
    model, role model
    someone worthy of imitation
  2. adjective
    eminent beyond or above comparison
    “the team's nonpareil center fielder”
    synonyms: matchless, one, one and only, peerless, unmatchable, unmatched, unrivaled, unrivalled
    incomparable, uncomparable
    such that comparison is impossible; unsuitable for comparison or lacking features that can be compared
  3. noun
    colored beads of sugar used as a topping on e.g. candies and cookies
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    type of:
    confection, sweet
    a food rich in sugar
  4. noun
    a flat disk of chocolate covered with beads of colored sugar
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    type of:
    chocolate candy
    candy made with chocolate
Word Family
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