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 consummative (audio) , kən-​ˈsə-​mə-​tiv How to pronounce consummative (audio) \ adjective
consummator \ ˈkän(t)-​sə-​ˌmāt-​ər How to pronounce consummator (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 Atkins’s Madeleine—dry, crisp, and remote—is more of a cypher, the consummate great man’s wife. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, "The Unstable, Flickering “The Height of the Storm”," 30 Sep. 2019 Carla Suarez Navarro—a consummate pro—played a set against Timea Babos, lost 6-2, and retired. Jon Wertheim,, "50 Parting Thoughts From the 2019 U.S. Open," 8 Sep. 2019 At his bookings, Pillman Jr. is the consummate pro. Drake Kizer,, "Picking up the pieces: Brian Pillman's son chasing dad's legacy in professional wrestling," 19 July 2019 There’s no arguing against Millsap as a consummate pro and a steady locker-room presence. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla: Here’s major reason Avs are more likely than Nuggets to bring championship to Denver," 29 June 2019 And then there’s Urie, with his antic charisma, consummate pacing, and endearing, confessional manner, amplified by direct addresses into the iPhone camera. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, "“Buyer & Cellar,” a Play that Will Make You Want to Watch Theatre Online," 22 Apr. 2020 In fact, his many-thing-ness is one of his defining attributes: Trump sees himself as the consummate generalist. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "Trump’s Coronavirus ‘Experts’: A Field Guide," 7 Apr. 2020 His 2014 championship was the consummate résumé-capper. Jeff Mcdonald,, "21 for 21: Celebrating certain Hall of Famer Tim Duncan," 3 Apr. 2020 With love and heavy hearts, Playwrights Horizons pays tribute to Mark Blum, a dear longtime friend and a consummate artist who passed this week. Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, "Mark Blum, Stage Veteran and Actor in 'Crocodile Dundee,' Dies From Coronavirus Complications at 69," 26 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Slay has wanted a new contract for more than a year now, and the Lions had no interest in giving him the type of extension — three years and $50 million — the Eagles did to consummate the deal. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "It doesn't make Detroit Lions better, but Darius Slay trade had to happen," 19 Mar. 2020 Amazon founder produced a sale worthy of his mega-fortune, buying the Beverly Hills estate of media giant in a record-setting deal consummated off market. Neal J. Leitereg, Los Angeles Times, "Top sales: L.A. County sees another record-breaker in February," 13 Mar. 2020 What made these two pandas finally consummate their relationship while the zoon is empty? Fox News, "Two giant pandas mate at empty Hong Kong zoo for first time after living together for a decade," 11 Apr. 2020 As more government officials advise against traveling, those restrictions could potentially impact the way free agency interest and signings are consummated. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "Retired NFL LB Lorenzo Alexander: Delaying free agency is 'right thing to do'," 15 Mar. 2020 PDX Jazz Fest, meanwhile, is consummated by a performance from saxophonist Kenny Garrett – a key constituent of Miles Davis’s last cohort of protégés. oregonlive, "Live music in Portland: March blooms with 23 must-see concerts," 27 Feb. 2020 Major league sources continue to anticipate that at some point the deal will be consummated — just not necessarily in the form of the original agreement. Alex Speier,, "How do baseball teams exchange medical information after agreeing to a trade?," 6 Feb. 2020 She's stuck in a somewhat unsatisfying (and seldom-consummated) relationship with easygoing photographer Yu Fei (Chen Zhou), who turns up unexpectedly to visit her in Hangzhou. Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Cloud in Her Room': Film Review | Rotterdam 2020," 11 Feb. 2020 Even before the official start of the NBA’s free agency period, deals were being consummated in a hilarious disregard of the league’s anti-tampering rules. Rohan Nadkarni,, "The Ripple Effects of NBA Free Agency's Early Moves," 30 June 2019

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

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Consummate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for consummate


How to pronounce consummate (audio)

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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