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 But better yet, Gregory is a consummate storyteller. Maren Longbella Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Review: 'This Is Not My Memoir,' by Andre Gregory and Todd London," 14 Feb. 2021 During the best years of the Oracle crowds (often some of the worst years for the team), that space was the consummate sports ecosystem. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, "What's your last pre-pandemic crowd memory? A Warriors watch party resonates in 2021," 11 Feb. 2021 And our Bravo lord and savior, consummate professional, and always-prepared host, Andy Cohen? Jodi Walker,, "The Real Housewives of Potomac recap: The word on the street," 14 Dec. 2020 True, although Yamiche Alcindor—consummate professional—had the last word. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Yamiche Alcindor Wants America to See Its Flaws," 4 Dec. 2020 Meanwhile, Chiang established herself as the consummate hostess. Paolo Lucchesi,, "Cecilia Chiang, an S.F. legend and the matriarch of Chinese food in America, dies," 28 Oct. 2020 His durability and reputation as a consummate teammate? Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Baseball Hall of Fame debate: Andy Pettitte’s candidacy exemplifies the quandary of the modern ballot," 12 Jan. 2021 Williams renders local color and characters with consummate craft, embroidering the full range of village life with flashes of hilarity. Globe Staff,, "The Fast Forward 2020 Winter Bookies reading list," 4 Jan. 2021 Boss is a consummate ladies’ man, a free spirit and a bar owner in NYC. Los Angeles Times Staff, Los Angeles Times, "Here’s what’s screening at the Sundance Film Festival 2021," 15 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Once Claire and Eric consummate their relationship, the series becomes much more doctrinaire, backing away from the subtler aspects of their connection: bonding over family history, Eric’s vulnerable economic position. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "“A Teacher”: A Series Best Saved for Fourth-Period Health Class," 7 Dec. 2020 To be clear, the company isn’t a typical unicorn: The company has yet to consummate a deal that would value it at over $1 billion, and whether a conversation turns into a full deal is yet to be seen. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "An unminted Black unicorn," 20 Nov. 2020 Judge Joseph Slights III has set a Jan. 5 non-jury trial to decide whether LVMH must consummate the deal. Kim Bhasin, Fortune, "Tiffany & Co. launches war of words against LVMH following countersuit," 29 Sep. 2020 Judge Joseph Slights III has set a Jan. 5 non-jury trial to decide whether LVMH must consummate the deal. Kim Bhasin, Fortune, "Tiffany & Co. launches war of words against LVMH following countersuit," 29 Sep. 2020 And just when the Cincinnati Bengals thought Chicago was ready to consummate a deal, the Bears took a left turn for Nick Foles. Dave Clark, The Enquirer, "Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones: 'We've got our quarterback in Andy Dalton'," 13 Oct. 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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Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Consummate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 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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