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

Definition of consummate

  1. 1 :  complete in every detail :  perfect a consummate model of a clipper ship

  2. 2 :  extremely skilled and accomplished a consummate liar a consummate professional

  3. 3 :  of the highest degree consummate skill consummate cruelty



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Examples of consummate in a sentence

  1. “How dare you!” Natalie screamed, in consummate frustration … —Joseph Wambaugh, The Black Marble, l978

  2. … Berg, the consummate schmoozer, was the perfect spy for the job. —Dick Teresi, New York Times Book Review, 24 July 1994

  3. 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

  4. 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 Charters, 1987

  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

Did You Know?

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

First Known Use: 15th century



verb con·sum·mate \ˈkän(t)-sə-ˌmāt\

Definition of consummate




  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  finish, complete consummate a business dealb :  to make perfectc :  achieve … his desire of consummating victory and revenge made him cautious … — Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  3. 2 :  to make (marital union) complete by sexual intercourse consummate a marriage

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to become perfected


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


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 West, The Wedding, 1995

  2. Once the sale was consummated, a thorough housecleaning took place in the advertising department … —Brendan Gill, New York Times Book Review, 4 Oct. 1987

  3. 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

  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.

Origin and Etymology of consummate

see 1consummate

First Known Use: circa 1525

CONSUMMATE Defined for English Language Learners



verb con·sum·mate \ˈkän(t)-sə-ˌmāt\

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).


a trip made at another's expense

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