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 Some of the people who had worked with Mara over the years went on social media to remember a colleague described as the consummate professional. Timothy Bella, Washington Post, 28 June 2022 Steve’s a consummate pro and a great lover of Charlie Watts’ style. Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, 22 Mar. 2022 Steve’s a consummate pro and a great lover of Charlie Watts’ style. Chris Willman, Variety, 18 Mar. 2022 Leo plays the consummate host, greeting guests, accompanying them to their rooms, and carrying out regular security patrols of the property, which sits right on the main footpath, and has tourists walking by every minute. Julia Buckley, CNN, 22 Oct. 2021 Simon Preston, an organist, conductor and composer who was an instrumentalist of consummate, intelligent virtuosity and a force in the early-music movement, died on May 13. New York Times, 23 May 2022 Oelrich described her dad as a champion of the indie bookstore and a consummate people person. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, 18 May 2022 With so many young pieces, Love has been the consummate professional and veteran, adding a spark off the bench. Ashley Bastock, cleveland, 9 Feb. 2022 Through Friends’ 10 seasons, Gunther serves as the consummate supporting character. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 26 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb These rust-resistant, stainless steel salad servers make a great gift for the aspiring cooks or consummate hosts in your life. Kaitlin Madden, Good Housekeeping, 1 June 2022 Cecilia and Robbie—her in that green dress, he in that black tux—consummate their love for one another, pinned against a stack of books. Deanna Janes, Harper's BAZAAR, 25 May 2022 That scene, with the futuristic 1964 World’s Fair structures looming in the background, is among the movie’s most affecting moments, showing Hopkins’ consummate skill at conveying a deep emotional well with impeccable restraint. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 May 2022 The suitors courted females, but made no attempts to mount them and consummate the flirtation. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Apr. 2022 The merger agreement includes a specific performance provision that allows Twitter to force Musk to consummate the deal, according to the filing., 18 May 2022 The complaint claims violations of the Securities Exchange Act, which requires the disclosure of certain information to consummate an acquisition. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Feb. 2022 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 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

6 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Consummate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 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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