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

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, 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: Adjective But a consummate happiness officer is willing to delay gratification in pursuit of a bigger goal. Callum Borchers, WSJ, 12 May 2022 Yes, Freda was a consummate performer in a strange way. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, 9 May 2022 Brophy Prep Principal Bob Ryan said that Sanford was the consummate teacher. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 30 Apr. 2022 Bezic’s musical pedigree sprang to life at an early age, starting with growing up in a musical house with a mom who exemplified the consummate performer as a singer, dancer and part-time piano teacher. Niko Stratis, SPIN, 26 Apr. 2022 Over the years, Strange became one of Marvel’s consummate supporting figures. Joe George, Men's Health, 25 Apr. 2022 Bruce Brown, the team’s consummate role player, had 18 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists, often offering himself as a crucial release valve on offense when Durant and Irving would get blitzed by defenders. New York Times, 13 Apr. 2022 But through it all, even after the demotion, Theis was a consummate professional. Rahat Huq, Chron, 29 Apr. 2022 As for his work on The Northman, Novak praised Eggers for guiding his process and being a consummate professional. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Eventually — more than a month into her stay on the island — Diana and Gabriel consummate their budding relationship. Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2022 The plot takes some truly wild twists once Hastings and Daphne marry and consummate their relationship after much flirtatious buildup. Eliana Dockterman, Time, 24 Mar. 2022 Ross, a skilled player and consummate pro, was brought in so the band could continue. Matt Wake |, al, 19 Jan. 2022 Richard Gere kisses Julia Roberts in front of everyone, which doesn’t seem like the wisest way to consummate a secret flirtation. Emma Specter, Vogue, 5 Mar. 2022 If the commission doesn’t file a legal challenge before the deadline, Amazon could be free to consummate the deal. Joe Flint, WSJ, 3 Mar. 2022 Carfrae grabbed the lead at 23 miles and went on to consummate the greatest come-from-behind victory in the 36-year history of the Ironman World Championship. Matt Fitzgerald, Outside Online, 4 Jan. 2021 More substantively, selling to an iBuyer appeals to homeowners who prize convenience, need to sell quickly, and want to be certain that the buyer will consummate the transaction and not flake out. CBS News, 27 Dec. 2021 As Vicious gets off on his own viciousness, Spike and Julia comfort each other and consummate their cautious flirtation by falling into bed together. Scott Meslow, Vulture, 21 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Consummate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on consummate

Nglish: Translation of consummate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of consummate for Arabic Speakers


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