Vocabulary from up on High
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Zenith, Summit, Acme, Pinnacle and Apex
- Strangely English has five words that mean the top of a mountain (perhaps our first lexicographers were avid alpinists). Spirited hiking, however, is only the half of it. Typically, you will encounter these words in a figurative sense:
- At the zenith of his artistic career, Elvis was outselling any other artist on the charts.
- The Ivy League is considered the apex of the education system.
- At its pinnacle, the Roman Empire extended across most of the landmass of Eurasia, a feat not paralleled to the rise of the British Empire in the 18th and 19th century.
- The point at which the moon is farthest from the earth is known as the apogee. In terms of
- accomplishment or achievement, this word can refer to the highest point or culmination of something.
If a person (or a thing) has reached such a point as to be god-like, then that person has reached an apotheosis.
Who is Nadir?
With all these people reaching the top of the career, isn’t there a word that refers to the bottom or lowest point of a person’s career? The answer is, well, of course. Meet nadir. Nadir doesn’t have to refer to just a career, but can be the lowest point.
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