1. Having no equal; peerless: the Yankees' nonpareil center fielder.
2. Designating the smallest, most flavorful variety of pickled caper.
1. A person or thing that has no equal; a paragon.
a. A small pellet of variously colored sugar used to decorate or give texture to sweets.
b. A small, flat chocolate drop covered with these pellets.
[Middle English nounparalle, from Old French nonpareil : non-, non- + pareil, equal (from Vulgar Latin *pariculus, diminutive of Latin pār, equal; see perə-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.