Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for August 20, 2020 is:
ne plus ultra nay-plus-UL-truh noun
1 : the highest point capable of being attained : acme
2 : the most profound degree of a quality or state
“To drummers in the ’70s and ’80s, [Neil] Peart was an Eddie Van Halen figure, someone whose pyrotechnic chops seemed to be the ne plus ultra.” — Christopher R. Weingarten, The New York Times, 12 Jan. 2020
“The ne plus ultra of campaign trail restaurants, visited without fail election cycle after election cycle by Democrat, Republican, and third-party candidates alike, is the Red Arrow Diner, a century-old, 24-hour diner in Manchester, New Hampshire. A political consultant could not imagine a better stage for the practice of person-to-person politicking.” — Gary He, Eater.com, 30 Jan. 2020
Did you know?
It is the height, the zenith, the ultimate, the crown, the pinnacle. It is the peak, the summit, the crest, the high-water mark. All these expressions, of course, mean “the highest point attainable.” But ne plus ultra may top them all when it comes to expressing in a sophisticated way that something is the pink of perfection. It is said that the term’s predecessor, non plus ultra, was inscribed on the Pillars of Hercules at the Strait of Gibraltar, which marked the western end of the classical world. The phrase served as a warning: “(Let there) not (be) more (sailing) beyond.” The New Latin version ne plus ultra, meaning “(go) no more beyond,” found its way into English in the early 1600s.