Simple Definition of culminate
: to reach the end or the final result of something
: to be the end or final result of (something)
Full Definition of culminate
1 of a celestial body : to reach its highest altitude; also : to be directly overhead
2 a : to rise to or form a summit b : to reach the highest or a climactic or decisive point
: to bring to a head or to the highest point
Examples of culminate in a sentence
A bitter feud culminated months of tension.
<culminated the school year with a trip to New York>
Did You Know?
Culminate was first used in English in the 17th century, in the field of astronomy. When a star or other heavenly body culminates, it reaches the point at which it is highest above the horizon from the vantage point of an observer on the ground. The word derives from the past participle of the Medieval Latin verb culminare, meaning "to crown," and ultimately from the Latin noun culmen, meaning "top." As something culminates it rises toward a peak. These days the word is most familiar to English speakers in its figurative usage, meaning "to reach a climactic or decisive point."
Origin and Etymology of culminate
Medieval Latin culminatus, past participle of culminare, from Late Latin, to crown, from Latin culmin-, culmen top — more at hill
First Known Use: 1647
CULMINATE Defined for Kids
Definition of culminate for Students
: to reach the end or the final result of <Her campaign culminated with a victory.>
Seen and Heard
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