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penultimate

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adjective pen·ul·ti·mate \pi-ˈnəl-tə-mət\

Simple Definition of penultimate

  • : occurring immediately before the last one : next to the last

Full Definition of penultimate

  1. 1 :  next to the last <the penultimate chapter of a book>

  2. 2 :  of or relating to the next to the last syllable of a word <a penultimate accent>

pen·ul·ti·mate·ly adverb

Examples of penultimate

  1. Belle was the penultimate person to die, just hours before a slave, fifty-three-year-old Alba, wandered in delirium away from his cabin and sat down to death in front of Carlyle's airing-out cottage. —Edward P. Jones, The Known World, 2003

  2. He threw harder in the last inning than he did in the first, whiffing pinch hitter Darryl Strawberry with a 97-mph heater for the penultimate out and blowing away the final hitter, Knoblauch, with a 96-mph fastball. —Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated, 27 Mar. 2000

  3. … regulations have cleared the penultimate hurdle and appear ready to become law … —John Aloysius Farrell, Sunday Denver (CO) Post, 2 Sept. 1984

  4. Pompey … speaks of her mother's difficult death and of her own longings for death and rises to a rare moment of lyric power in the novel's penultimate paragraph. —Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times Book Review, 3 Oct. 1982

  5. the penultimate syllable of the word



Origin of penultimate

(see penult)


First Known Use: 1677



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