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noun | ZEE-nith
What It Means
Zenith refers to the strongest or most successful period of time for a person or thing.
// At the zenith of her music career in the early 2000s, she released her best-selling album to date.
Examples of ZENITH
“Once deemed ‘one of the most underrated musicians in rock history’ by David Bowie, John Cale is best known as the viola-scraping Velvet Underground co-founder who grounded the group in the avant-garde. But those years hardly marked a creative zenith for Cale. Since leaving the band in 1968, he has released more than a dozen solo albums, ranging in style from orchestral pop to new wave and punk; collaborated with luminaries like Patti Smith and Brian Eno; and scored numerous films.” — Olivia Horn, The New York Times, 18 Aug. 2023
Did You Know?
When you reach the zenith, you’re at the top, the pinnacle, the summit, the peak. Zenith developed from an Arabic phrase meaning “the way over one’s head,” and then traveled through Old Spanish, Medieval Latin, and Middle French before arriving in English. 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 for other high points as well. The celestial term is often contrasted with nadir, which refers to the point that is vertically downward from the observer (imagine a line going through the Earth from the observer’s feet and out the other side into the sky). Figuratively, nadir simply means “the lowest point.”
Merriam Webster Dictionary