con·​sum·​mate | \ ˈkän(t)-sə-mət How to pronounce consummate (audio) , kən-ˈsə-mət How to pronounce consummate (audio) \

Definition of consummate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : extremely skilled and accomplished a consummate liar a consummate professional
2 : of the highest degree consummate skill consummate cruelty
3 : complete in every detail : perfect a consummate model of a clipper ship


con·​sum·​mate | \ ˈkän(t)-sə-ˌmāt How to pronounce consummate (audio) \
consummated; consummating

Definition of consummate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make (marital union) complete by sexual intercourse consummate a marriage
2a : finish, complete consummate a business deal
b : to make perfect
c : achieve … his desire of consummating victory and revenge made him cautious …— Edward Bulwer-Lytton

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Other Words from consummate


consummately adverb


consummative \ ˈkän(t)-​sə-​ˌmā-​tiv How to pronounce consummative (audio) , kən-​ˈsə-​mə-​tiv How to pronounce consummative (audio) \ adjective
consummator \ ˈkän(t)-​sə-​ˌmāt-​ər How to pronounce consummator (audio) \ noun

Are You Using consummate Correctly?


Consummate, which derives from the Latin verb consummare (meaning "to sum up" or "to finish"), has been used as an adjective in English since the 15th century. Some usage commentators feel the word is overused and others think it should be limited to the "perfect" sense (as in "a consummate little model of a clipper ship"), but neither of those positions is more than an opinion. All of the senses of the word are well-established and have served careful writers well for many, many years.

Examples of consummate in a Sentence

Adjective … Berg, the consummate schmoozer, was the perfect spy for the job. — Dick Teresi, New York Times Book Review, 24 July 1994 To thrive in science, you must be both a consummate collaborator and a relentless competitor. — Natalie Angier, New York Times Book Review, 6 Nov. 1988 The rest of his life (he lived for a few more years) was one great consummate silence. — R. K. Narayan, "Under the Banyan Tree," in The Story and Its Writer, edited by Ann Charters1987 "How dare you!" Natalie screamed, in consummate frustration … — Joseph Wambaugh, The Black Marble, l978 He plays the piano with consummate skill. consummate cabinetmakers, they produced desks and chests of drawers that are now regarded as masterpieces of American furniture Verb In part she had loved him for that, loved the tender understanding with which he had acquiesced to her wish not to consummate their relationship out of wedlock. — Dorothy West, The Wedding, 1995 Once the sale was consummated, a thorough housecleaning took place in the advertising department … — Brendan Gill, New York Times Book Review, 4 Oct. 1987 By prolonging the suspense and terror, he was needlessly delaying the reconciliation he himself was yearning so dearly to consummate. — Joseph Heller, God Knows, 1984 The bargaining process went on for a few days, but the deal was never consummated. Their happiness was consummated when their son was born.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The consummate optimist, he was blessed with an excellent sense of humor, a keen wit and a love of music., "Deaths in South Florida: 10/24," 24 Oct. 2019 While Somerville investigates, Posen sings the praises of another consummate host: Wyatt. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Zac Posen visits Houston for an early birthday lunch hosted by Kristina Somerville at Neiman Marcus," 23 Oct. 2019 Not only did the film premiere, but Beyoncé (the consummate overachiever) also released a surprise album titled Homecoming: The Live Album. Essence, "Kelly Rowland Says Beyoncé's 'Homecoming' 'Was Robbed' At The Emmy Awards," 1 Oct. 2019 Trump apparently responded positively to the less-than-subtle flattery from Zelenskiy, the consummate showman whose resounding election win The New Republic covered earlier this year. Michael Colborne, The New Republic, "The Mess Trump Has Made in Ukraine," 26 Sep. 2019 For all his many faults Mr Corbyn is a consummate machine politician. The Economist, "Labour contemplates life after Jeremy Corbyn," 26 Sep. 2019 But then, finally, in the 73rd minute, Greenwood was at last able to break the Kazakh resistance, creating something out of nothing with a duck and a feint and a consummate finish through the legs of Nenad Eric in goal., "Manchester United 1-0 Astana: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Red Devils Labour to Opening Victory," 19 Sep. 2019 In Israel Binyamin Netanyahu, a consummate insider, portrays official inquiries into his alleged corruption as part of an establishment conspiracy against his premiership. The Economist, "The corrupting of democracy," 29 Aug. 2019 Bob was the consummate leader, servant, and friend, serving as the Wellington Board president in the King's Ridge community, and participating in the community musicals, choral groups, and Dining Delights club., "Deaths in Central Florida: 7/11," 11 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb It was consummated just before the copper market plunged. Jack Farchy,, "The Men Who Would Be King of Glencore Move Into the Spotlight," 29 Oct. 2019 At one point, Duquette said, the Orioles nearly consummated a trade coming out of the winter meetings, but the other team pulled its offer, and Baltimore decided that the return wasn’t sufficient to make an offseason deal., "This just in: Betts is a franchise talent, thus making rather unenviable an incoming Red Sox GM’s task of deciding whether to trade the superstar.," 8 Oct. 2019 Whether or not it’s consummated, there is certainly some sort of dance going on. Kathryn Shattuck, New York Times, "Marc Maron on ‘GLOW,’ His Podcast and ‘Swords of Trust’," 19 July 2019 The house swap was consummated in less than 48 hours. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Pregnant wives, condo swaps and the family dog: The human toll of the MLB trade deadline," 15 July 2019 The shocking news rolled over the community and throughout the county and just four months later, the land purchase was consummated in March 2017. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Groundbreaking at 14,000 lot River Ranch signals start of master-planned community," 16 Sep. 2019 But precious few have summoned quite so much sumptuousness of sound or consummate vocal control. Howard Reich,, "Barbra on Barbra: Streisand riffs on music, anti-Semitism and how Chicago has always brought her good luck," 24 July 2019 If consummated, a deal for the payment processor would add to the bonanza of mergers and acquisitions in the digital payments sector in recent months. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Visa is in talks to acquire part of Nordic payment firm Nets," 25 July 2019 After a process, Israel did agree to honor her — but this was never consummated: Hilde Zadek never got back to Israel and did not receive the honor. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "Hilde Zadek’s Last Wishes," 26 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'consummate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of consummate


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


circa 1525, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for consummate

Adjective and Verb

Middle English consummat fulfilled, from Latin consummatus, past participle of consummare to sum up, finish, from com- + summa sum

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Statistics for consummate

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for consummate

The first known use of consummate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for consummate


How to pronounce consummate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of consummate

: to make (a marriage or romantic relationship) complete by having sex
: to make (something) perfect or complete

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