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 All are consummate schmoozers, though Ari and Rahm balance their ingratiating manners with ferocious tempers. Connie Bruck, The New Yorker, "Ari Emanuel Takes on the World," 19 Apr. 2021 Hitchcock the consummate control freak also knew how to keep to his lane and leave his brilliant stars space to develop their characters. Washington Post, "In ‘The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock,’ it’s the contradictions that made the man," 14 Apr. 2021 Qaumajuq serves as the consummate jubilee gift, celebrating the gallery’s steadfast dedication in exhibiting, publishing and preserving the work of Inuit artists for over 50 years. Bernadette Driscoll Engelstad, Smithsonian Magazine, "Groundbreaking New Center Unveils World’s Largest Collection of Inuit Art," 13 Apr. 2021 The state has 400 species of native bees but just 20 species of bumble bees, the consummate, fuzzy pollinating machines. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Citizen scientists can join the Bumble Bee Brigade, Wisconsin Bat Program and more," 8 Apr. 2021 Colt is a consummate team player who is headed to the University of Idaho next year to play linebacker. oregonlive, "Meet some star Class 6A high school football players the stat sheets often miss: Beyond the Box Scores, Week 2," 19 Mar. 2021 Mudd was quite good at reading news copy into a camera, but his true talent was in writing and reporting the news with consummate skill, a natural sense of distance and fair-mindedness, and charm and polish. Philip Terzian, Washington Examiner, "Roger Mudd, 1928-2021," 11 Mar. 2021 Morikawa, the consummate iron player, was flawless at times in winning his first World Golf Championship two weeks ago. Mark Heim |, al, "The Players Championship live stream (3/11): How to watch TPC at Sawgrass Round 1 online, time, TV," 11 Mar. 2021 Milton Kimbrough, an assistant coach at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, said Pulliam was the consummate teammate, holding her peers to a high standard and leading by example by putting in extra work. Andrew Golden,, "A tireless work ethic helped Lindsey Pulliam develop into one of the best basketball players in Northwestern history — and she’s not done yet," 9 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Once a merger is announced, non-management investors vote on whether to consummate the deal. Craig Harris, USA Today, "Shaq, Ciara and A-Rod have one. But are SPACs, the latest investment craze, right for you?," 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, "These nine NFL teams could be suitable destinations for Aaron Rodgers – but a trade with Packers has obstacles," 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, "Will Cleveland Cavaliers be able to trade Andre Drummond or have to settle for a buyout? Hey, Chris!," 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,, "NFL free agency: Tracking the Patriots’ moves, key dates, and more to watch," 15 Mar. 2021 The Lions will consummate their trade of Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff and three draft picks when the 2021 league year opens next week. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell to attend top QB prospect Trey Lance's pro day Friday," 12 Mar. 2021 The Forest Service issued a final environmental impact statement in January that started a 60-day clock to consummate the land deal. Debra Utacia Krol, The Arizona Republic, "Federal judge rejects Apache Stronghold bid to block Oak Flat land swap," 12 Feb. 2021 Director Martin Scorsese and author Fran Lebowitz, both consummate New Yorkers, spend a few hours together dishing and griping about life in the Big Apple. Jim Kiest,, "Catch up with ‘A Discovery of Witches’ before season two premieres on Shudder and Sundance Now," 5 Jan. 2021 Bouchard rejected that argument, saying evidence showed WeWork’s management encouraged the independent directors to file the suit in hopes of forcing SoftBank to consummate the stock purchase. Jef Feeley,, "WeWork, SoftBank Fail to Get Suit Over Stock Deal Dismissed," 14 Dec. 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.

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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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for consummate

Last Updated

25 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Consummate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 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

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