1 of 2


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


2 of 2


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

transitive verb

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

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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, 1978
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
He is known at the Capitol as a consummate political insider who serves as chief of staff for the Senate Democrats and a close ally of Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney of New Haven. Christopher Keating, Hartford Courant, 9 Feb. 2023 Nova — who died at 40, in 1975, from bone cancer — was a consummate rule breaker. Allyson McCabe, New York Times, 20 Jan. 2023 Paul Silas was a consummate team player and an integral member of the 1974 and 1976 NBA World Championship teams. Bob Ryan,, 11 Dec. 2022 City Council members hailed Maland on Tuesday as a consummate professional who showed patience and humility dealing with members of the public. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Jan. 2023 Gordon has been a consummate professional in Houston across the last seven seasons. Michael Shapiro, Chron, 1 Jan. 2023 Meanwhile, Cohen remained the consummate professional, throwing it to Richard Quest for an interview with Pitbull. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 29 Dec. 2022 Foles, like both Ryan and Ehlinger, is a consummate professional. The Indianapolis Star, 27 Dec. 2022 New manager Nico Estévez also has found Jara to be a consummate professional and plans to give him every opportunity to change games, whether as a starter or as a substitute. Dallas News, 22 Jan. 2022
Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft has until July 18 to consummate the merger, though the two companies involved could mutually seek to extend the deadline. Brian Fung, CNN, 14 July 2023 That it’s never consummated doesn’t avert Golaud’s descent into jealous madness. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 4 Aug. 2023 The company sought to reassure customers and the public that a deal would be consummated despite the occasionally heated pronouncements. Noam Scheiber, New York Times, 25 July 2023 The deadline is barely a week away, Tuesday, Aug. 1, with all deals needing to be consummated by 6 p.m. ET. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 23 July 2023 The new contractual deadline for consummating the deal will be October 18, the companies said. Brian Fung, CNN, 19 July 2023 Jessica Simpson Jessica Simpson has never shied away from discussing her decision to wait until her 2002 wedding to Nick Lachey to consummate their love. Kiran Hefa, Peoplemag, 2 Aug. 2023 The Rangers announced Saturday, hours before the Scherzer deal was consummated, that Eovaldi would be skipped in the rotation for a second consecutive turn Sunday. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 29 July 2023 Last week, Microsoft won two successive court victories when a federal district court and a US appeals court declined to temporarily block the merger from being consummated. Brian Fung, CNN, 16 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'consummate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Adjective and Verb

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

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


circa 1525, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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


Dictionary Entries Near consummate

Cite this Entry

“Consummate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
: of the highest degree, quality, or skill
a consummate politician
consummately adverb


2 of 2 verb
con·​sum·​mate ˈkän(t)-sə-ˌmāt How to pronounce consummate (audio)
consummated; consummating
: to make perfect or complete

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