con·​sum·​mate | \ˈkän(t)-sə-mət, kən-ˈsə-mət \

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 \
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, kən-​ˈsə-​mə-​tiv \ adjective
consummator \ˈkän(t)-​sə-​ˌmāt-​ər \ 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

Below, a few tips for setting a festive scene without getting your tinsel in a tangle. Plus, some gift suggestions for the consummate entertainer in your life—even if that happens to be you. Vogue, "Day 10: Entertain With Ease," 12 Nov. 2018 Known as pop’s consummate showman, Timberlake will probably play piano, pick up a guitar, break out the beatboxing — but if the large-scale event is anything like his Super Bowl halftime show, the set may be a fragile as a deck of cards. Jessi Roti,, "Timberlake or Lorde, pop star auteur or pop 'classic' - what do you want from arena pop in 2018?," 22 Mar. 2018 Trump is a consummate showman, and his stagecraft was top notch. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: State of the Union underscores why Trump is his own worst enemy," 31 Jan. 2018 The choice of Austin Beutner, announced Tuesday, places the district squarely back in the outsider camp — months after a consummate insider, Supt. Joy Resmovits,, "Campus strikes, housing at People's Park, prom time for Parkland: What's new in education," 7 May 2018 He was loved and respected by all who crossed his path, a consummate gentleman and role model., "Salvatore A. Camilleri," 28 Apr. 2018 The 53-year-old Kavanaugh is the consummate Washington insider, well-liked in the city’s legal community. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Kavanaugh’s paper trail makes his confirmation harder but ensures he’ll be reliably conservative," 10 July 2018 Azar, after all, is the consummate insider who understands pricing and rebates all too well. Ed Silverman, STAT, "He can shame Pfizer and others, but Trump doesn’t have a practical way to lower drug prices," 9 July 2018 UpWiththeSkimm #SkimmLife Name: Jessica Biel Job: Mama Bear, actress, producer, wannabe alpinist, consummate student of the @WomanCareGlobal #ThenWhoWill campaign. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Every Photo Justin Timberlake & Jessica Biel Have Shared of Son Silas," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 But Washington really sealed the deal -- which can't be consummated until the league year begins March 14 -- by agreeing to sign Smith to a four-year extension worth $94 million, including $71 million guaranteed. Mary Kay Cabot,, "Browns offered Chiefs one of their 2nd-round picks for Alex Smith," 31 Jan. 2018 The deal was consummated consistent with the corporate governance rules and cap table established under the former founders’ leadership. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "FanDuel’s founder didn’t make a dime when his company was acquired. Now he’s suing for millions.," 14 Aug. 2018 General manager Bob Quinn spent 16 seasons in a variety of roles with the Patriots, and has consummated six trades with his old team in just over two years in his current job. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions discussed trading for Rob Gronkowski, report says," 19 June 2018 The latter two were traded last week as players to be named later in a deal that was consummated in February. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks balancing now and later in prospect deals," 8 May 2018 There’s no evidence that Stone consummated the transaction. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "What Roger Stone’s Latest Russia Lie Reveals About the Scandal," 18 June 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


Middle English consummat fulfilled, from Latin consummatus, past participle of consummare to sum up, finish, from com- + summa sum


see consummate entry 1

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Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

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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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