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adjective ul·ti·mate \ˈəl-tə-mət\

: happening or coming at the end of a process, series of events, etc.

: greatest or most extreme

—used to refer to the original or basic source or cause of something

Full Definition of ULTIMATE

a :  most remote in space or time :  farthest
b :  last in a progression or series :  final <their ultimate destination was Paris>
c :  eventual 2 <they hoped for ultimate success>
d :  the best or most extreme of its kind :  utmost <the ultimate sacrifice>
:  arrived at as the last result <the ultimate question>
a :  basic, fundamental <the ultimate nature of things — A. N. Whitehead>
b :  original 1 <the ultimate source>
c :  incapable of further analysis, division, or separation
ul·ti·mate·ness noun

Examples of ULTIMATE

  1. Their ultimate fate has not yet been decided.
  2. Our ultimate aim is to increase production.

Origin of ULTIMATE

Medieval Latin ultimatus last, final, from Late Latin, past participle of ultimare to come to an end, be last, from Latin ultimus farthest, last, final, superl. of Latin *ulter situated beyond
First Known Use: 1640

Synonym Discussion of ULTIMATE

last, final, terminal, ultimate mean following all others (as in time, order, or importance). last applies to something that comes at the end of a series but does not always imply that the series is completed or stopped <last page of a book> <last news we had of him>. final applies to that which definitely closes a series, process, or progress <final day of school>. terminal may indicate a limit of extension, growth, or development <terminal phase of a disease>. ultimate implies the last degree or stage of a long process beyond which further progress or change is impossible <the ultimate collapse of the system>.



Definition of ULTIMATE

:  something ultimate; especially :  fundamental
:  acme
capitalized :  ultimate frisbee

First Known Use of ULTIMATE


Other Field and Goal Sports Terms

crease, lateral, lax, overthrow, playbook, post, screen, scrum, secondary


verb ul·ti·mate \-mət, -ˌmāt\

Definition of ULTIMATE

:  end

First Known Use of ULTIMATE

circa 1834
ULTIMATING Defined for Kids


adjective ul·ti·mate \ˈəl-tə-mət\

Definition of ULTIMATE for Kids

:  last in a series :  final <The traveler's ultimate destination was Rome.>
:  most extreme <the ultimate sacrifice>
:  relating to or being the chief or most important <She has ultimate responsibility for the accident.>
ul·ti·mate·ly adverb


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