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


… 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


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

And probably nobody could have sold the government and the public on bailing out Chrysler in the 1970s than Lee Iacocca, the nation's consummate salesman. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Lee Iacocca wasn't perfect: 3 times the auto icon got it all wrong," 6 July 2019 To hear the Rolling Stones perform in 2019 is to hear a gang of sages share a profound knowledge of their own bodies, as well as a consummate awareness to one another’s. Chris Richards, Washington Post, "The Rolling Stones want to teach you how to live forever," 4 July 2019 So, what does Fonda, the consummate activist, see as the most important issue vexing America? Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "Jane Fonda heads to Dallas, which bears a connection to a turning point in her Oscar-winning career," 2 July 2019 Her spiritual progeny include Madonna, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Cardi B, and any celebrity with the audacity to flaunt their consummate ability to influence the media and charm the public. Sharon Marcus, Vox, "The first modern celebrity was born 175 years ago," 26 June 2019 Despite his anti-press claims, Sabatini is the consummate media hound. Lauren Ritchie,, "Elected officials should learn value of manners | Commentary," 21 June 2019 Vitra Virgil Abloh, the consummate creative force behind fashion label Off-White, Louis Vuitton menswear, and Ikea furniture collaborations, is partnering with Vitra to envision the future of living. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Virgil Abloh reimagines Vitra furniture," 17 June 2019 Southview’s iconic personalities include the late Frank Fiorito, the beloved club professional known throughout Minnesota golf circles as a consummate gentleman and classy representative for his sport. Charley Walters, Twin Cities, "Charley Walters: Low-key Rocco Baldelli has just the right touch for Twins," 15 June 2019 Claude Monet was a consummate gardener and used his garden as the principle subject of his work. Kitty Leshay,, "Visitors Flock To Art And Garden Tour," 14 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That depends on when the trade with Davis is actually consummated and not just agreed upon. Dan Woike,, "Which shooting star will join Lakers with Anthony Davis: Kyrie, Kemba or who?," 15 June 2019 The Bucks, which owe their 2020 first-round pick to the Phoenix Suns, aren't allowed to trade back-to-back future first-round picks but can pick for the Pistons on Thursday then consummate the trade afterward. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks trade Tony Snell and 30th pick to Pistons for Jon Leuer," 19 June 2019 On the other hand, because of salary cap rules, if the trade is consummated in late July, the Lakers would have the space to add another maximum contract. John Cherwa,, "The Sports Report: Gary Woodland and his memorable Father’s Day," 17 June 2019 On the other hand, because of salary-cap rules, if the trade is consummated in late July, the Lakers would have the space to add another maximum contract. Tania Ganguli,, "Timing of Anthony Davis trade might hamstring Lakers," 16 June 2019 Indeed, deal making among the various health-care providers has proved difficult to consummate in recent years. Dana Cimilluca, WSJ, "Walgreens, Humana Are in Preliminary Talks to Take Stakes in Each Other," 20 Nov. 2018 Mergers valued at more than $84 million that meet certain conditions, and all deals valued above $337 million, need government approval before they can be consummated. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Antitrust Chief Vows to Cut Merger Review Time," 25 Sep. 2018 If the deal is consummated, Brookfield and Kushner would update the aging property with lighter and airier offices that would command higher rents, according to one of the people familiar with the deal. Bloomberg,, "Kushners near deal with Qatar-backed firm to save investment in troubled Manhattan high-rise," 17 May 2018 And even if the deal was consummated, Detroit would have to persuade Walker to re-sign with them after the season. Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press, "Could Detroit Pistons convince Hornets to trade Kemba Walker?," 13 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for consummate

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for consummate

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

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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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Comments on consummate

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


something desired as essential

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