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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Despite being on a subpar Apollo team in the 4A conference last season, the Black Hills State commit is a consummate enforcer among the state's elite players. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, "Elite Girls 50: Counting down best Arizona high school girls basketball players in 2020-21," 2 Aug. 2020 Russell, the consummate point guard and All-League player who later starred at USF, knew how, when and where to get Love the ball. Mitch Stephens,, "Justin Love, whose talent shined on courts from SF to Ukraine, dies at 41," 27 June 2020 Schenz was a consummate schmoozer, a guy who had a story for every situation and every occasion. David Lyman,, "Jonn Schenz, who provided Easter Bunny costumes to the White House, dead at 81," 9 June 2020 In a career spanning nearly seven decades, Mr. Cobb was regarded as a consummate accompanist of understated vibrancy. Adam Bernstein,, "Jimmy Cobb, consummate jazz drummer for Miles Davis, dies at 91," 25 May 2020 And if Jordan is the consummate athlete of his era, Rodman, in his eccentricity, materialism, transgression, and media savvy, defines that era itself. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "The End of History and ‘The Last Dance’," 2 May 2020 Most of all, Thelma was the consummate hostess for her family and friends., "Thelma Pauline Dalene," 1 Nov. 2019 The ornery Frank will always be remembered; so, too, should Stiller, the sweet thespian and consummate professional who brought him to life. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Sitcom Dad Who Made Grouchiness Into an Art Form," 12 May 2020 Atkins’s Madeleine—dry, crisp, and remote—is more of a cypher, the consummate great man’s wife. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, "The Unstable, Flickering “The Height of the Storm”," 30 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Adhering to that timeline will require consummating a deal quickly — perhaps this week. Chandler Rome,, "MLB owners perhaps softening on prorated salaries," 1 June 2020 Ravn needs to consummate the sale by the first week in June, when the certificate expires, Craford said. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Southeast Alaska commuter airline makes offer to resurrect PenAir amid Ravn bankruptcy," 15 May 2020 Smaller deals are also being consummated, such as Thoma Bravo’s acquisition of Instructure. New York Times, "Are We Turning a Corner? Investors Are Betting on It," 7 Apr. 2020 The deal, which was to be financed in part by a Manafort-Deripaska vehicle called Pericles Emerging Market Partners, was never consummated. Greg Farrell,, "Trump-Friendly Lawyers Join Legal Team of Ukraine’s Firtash," 23 Sep. 2019 Slay has wanted a new contract for more than a year now, and the Lions had no interest in giving him the type of extension — three years and $50 million — the Eagles did to consummate the deal. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "It doesn't make Detroit Lions better, but Darius Slay trade had to happen," 19 Mar. 2020 Amazon founder produced a sale worthy of his mega-fortune, buying the Beverly Hills estate of media giant in a record-setting deal consummated off market. Neal J. Leitereg, Los Angeles Times, "Top sales: L.A. County sees another record-breaker in February," 13 Mar. 2020 What made these two pandas finally consummate their relationship while the zoon is empty? Fox News, "Two giant pandas mate at empty Hong Kong zoo for first time after living together for a decade," 11 Apr. 2020 As more government officials advise against traveling, those restrictions could potentially impact the way free agency interest and signings are consummated. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "Retired NFL LB Lorenzo Alexander: Delaying free agency is 'right thing to do'," 15 Mar. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about consummate

Time Traveler for consummate

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about consummate

Statistics for consummate

Last Updated

10 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Consummate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on consummate

What made you want to look up consummate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Thing: Animal Edition

  • alt 5a023732e6f75
  • Name that animal:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!