1

consummate

play
adjective con·sum·mate \ ˈkän(t)-sə-mət , kən-ˈsə-mət \

Definition of consummate

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

consummately

adverb

consummate was our Word of the Day on 03/24/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of consummate in a Sentence

  1. … Berg, the consummate schmoozer, was the perfect spy for the job. —Dick TeresiNew York Times Book Review24 July 1994
  2. To thrive in science, you must be both a consummate collaborator and a relentless competitor. —Natalie AngierNew York Times Book Review6 Nov. 1988
  3. 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
  4. "How dare you!" Natalie screamed, in consummate frustration … —Joseph WambaughThe Black Marblel978
  5. He plays the piano with consummate skill.

  6. consummate cabinetmakers, they produced desks and chests of drawers that are now regarded as masterpieces of American furniture

Recent Examples of consummate from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of consummate

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


2

consummate

play
verb con·sum·mate \ ˈkän(t)-sə-ˌmāt \

Definition of consummate

consummated; consummating
transitive verb
1 a :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
2 :to make (marital union) complete by sexual intercourse
  • consummate a marriage
intransitive verb
:to become perfected

consummative

play \ˈkän(t)-sə-ˌmā-tiv, kən-ˈsə-mə-tiv\ adjective

consummator

play \ˈkän(t)-sə-ˌmāt-ər\ noun

Examples of consummate in a Sentence

  1. 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 WestThe Wedding1995
  2. Once the sale was consummated, a thorough housecleaning took place in the advertising department … —Brendan GillNew York Times Book Review4 Oct. 1987
  3. By prolonging the suspense and terror, he was needlessly delaying the reconciliation he himself was yearning so dearly to consummate. —Joseph HellerGod Knows1984
  4. The bargaining process went on for a few days, but the deal was never consummated.

  5. Their happiness was consummated when their son was born.

Recent Examples of consummate from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of consummate


CONSUMMATE Defined for English Language Learners

consummate

play
verb

Definition of consummate for English Language Learners

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

  • : to make (something) perfect or complete



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

agreeable, attractive, or delicious

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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