What is the meaning of "acme" in this sentence?

What is the meaning of "acme"? (The word is bolded.) This comes from Gone With the Wind.

"Oh, it wasn’t fair that she should have to sit here primly and be the acme of widowed dignity and propriety when she was only seventeen."

1 Answer
Jun 12, 2018

Answer:

Acme in this sentence means the best example.

Explanation:

"Acme" means the peak, the pinnacle, the highest point. By extension, it is often used to mean the best of whatever is under discussion.

When used in this context, it means acting with perfect, or almost perfect, dignity and propriety as was expected of a widow at that time. For a seventeen-year old, that would be most difficult, and as noted, somewhat unfair.