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 consummate (audio) , kən-​ˈsə-​mə-​tiv How to pronounce consummate (audio) \ adjective
consummator \ ˈkän(t)-​sə-​ˌmāt-​ər How to pronounce consummate (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 Hopeful surfers should book lessons with the consummate professionals at Tropicsurf onsite, while the wellness minded have their choice of Pilates, yoga, a Jungle Sports studio, and comprehensive spa. Kathryn Romeyn, Travel + Leisure, 16 July 2021 Edwards was a consummate dealmaker, and like Huey Long, aimed his populism at the state’s downtrodden. Kevin Mcgill, ajc, 12 July 2021 Schwarber is the consummate all-or-nothing slugger. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 1 July 2021 Marcis was the consummate little guy in a sport that grew exponentially in popularity and expense over his career. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 26 June 2021 Malcolm presented herself—and was often described by others—as a consummate listener, completely attuned to, and absorbed by, her subject. Sarah Weinman, The New Republic, 18 June 2021 Yet Deane, while keeping his distance, can dissect with consummate delicacy the sublimely dexterous art of Elizabeth Bowen or the subversive ingenuity of James Joyce. Anna Mundow, WSJ, 4 June 2021 Yes, to be a well rounded, consummate leader, some situations require a short-term, sharp management style. Philippe Clarinval, Forbes, 18 May 2021 Washington archetype: the consummate operator, able to skate from one type of politician (a democratic socialist) to another (an establishment favorite) depending on whose coattails seem more promising. Washington Post, 8 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Manns was a writer, radio personality, TV show host and consummate warmwater fisherman who willingly shared his knowledge and passion for angling. oregonlive, 2 July 2021 People seek consistency in many areas, for example, college admissions, fingerprint analysis, whether to consummate a merger. Neil Senturia, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 June 2021 Advisors couldn’t consummate a sale unless they were licensed by the state where the potential sale was being made. R.j. Shook, Forbes, 29 June 2021 All the while they were gripped with an expectation that their lord savior was coming any moment to consummate his union with their leader Åsa, who emerges as a frightening and ravenously selfish manipulator. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, 27 Apr. 2021 Once a merger is announced, non-management investors vote on whether to consummate the deal. Craig Harris, USA Today, 30 Apr. 2021 No reason the acquisition of Sam Darnold should preclude exploration of the Rodgers option, though the loss of next year's second-rounder makes any deal a little harder to consummate. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 30 Apr. 2021 The prevailing thought for the last month: General manager Koby Altman will need to get creative, likely pulling in multiple organizations to consummate a deal. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 21 Mar. 2021 Basically, teams can talk to reps, but the two sides can’t officially consummate the agreement until the start of the new league year. Katie Mcinerney,, 15 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for consummate

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

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Last Updated

30 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Consummate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for consummate



English Language Learners Definition of consummate

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

More from Merriam-Webster on consummate

Nglish: Translation of consummate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of consummate for Arabic Speakers


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