"Seal Team 6" has become synonymous "elite". Is there a more generic term that can be used to describe a group considered the best at something?

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    Those are elite fighters, yes. But the term is not synonymous with elite. There is no single word. There are nouns (team, group) with adjectives. Best group, number-one group, premier group.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 15:25
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    Elite is already quite generic - you can be an elite soldier or an elite musician or an elite scholar. I'm not sure what you mean by "more generic." Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 17:48

4 Answers 4


Elite is pretty accurate. Premier or ultimate may also work. Or use a term like "best of the best", "cream of the crop", etc.


"Seal Team 6" is an EXAMPLE of an elite group. I've never heard it used as a generic term for an elite group. Maybe among your friends and associates people say, "This band is the Seal Team 6 of rock stars!" or some such. If so, I think that usage is very localized.

But in general terms for a person or group who are the best at something include, "elite" like in your question, "premiere", "the best", "A-team", and "first string".


Several things come to mind: Expert, maven, guru, and par excellence to name a few. Also, there's "the best...", as in "the best doctor" or just by itself.

Back in the old days we used to use the name "Heifetz"---after Jascha Heifetz, considered by some to be the best violinist that ever was:
"He an ok ball player, but he's no Heifetz".
and my favorite variation:
"You are either Jascha or kasha."
(Kasha is boiled buckwheat.)


How about the slang word pros which is short for professionals:

They're real pros.

Another one that I can think of would be experts:

They're real experts in English grammar and usage.

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