Definition of culminate
1 of a celestial body : to reach its highest altitude During the summer solstice, the sun culminates over the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere.; also : to be directly overhead
2a : to rise to or form a summit … enormous waves culminated and fell with the report of thunder. — Frederick Marryatb : to reach the highest or a climactic or decisive point Her long acting career culminated when she won the Oscar.
: to bring to a head or to the highest point The contract culminated weeks of negotiations.
culminate was our Word of the Day on 06/29/2017. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of culminate in a Sentence
A bitter feud culminated months of tension.
culminated the school year with a trip to New York
Recent Examples of culminate from the Web
The actions of the two governmental entities set in motion a series of steps culminating in a more formal development and lease agreement that will clear the way for a possible construction start by the end of 2019.
After dominating for most of the first 30 minutes, Pittsburgh settled into the game and started creating chances, culminating in a header on goal from Riverhounds forward Kevin Kerr that was ultimately ruled offside.
The Chicago Bulls won the tournament-style format that culminates with a championship game at 9 p.m. July 17.
Denver is holding its annual PrideFest this weekend, culminating with the Coors Light PrideFest Parade on Sunday.
Gargano said he was surprised by Neuqua's run this year that culminated with a loss in the supersectional.
The book recounts the end of the Yankees' 1949-64 dynasty that culminated with the Cardinals winning the '64 World Series.
This promises to be a phenomenal week of live sports and music, culminating in a historic showdown between the world’s two biggest soccer powerhouses.
Flynn, a retired lieutenant general, was one of Trump’s closest aides during the presidential campaign, culminating in his brief tenure as national-security adviser.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'culminate'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Culminate was first used in English in the 17th century, in the field of astronomy. When a star or other heavenly body culminates, it reaches the point at which it is highest above the horizon from the vantage point of an observer on the ground. The word derives from the past participle of the Medieval Latin verb culminare, meaning "to crown," and ultimately from the Latin noun culmen, meaning "top." As something culminates it rises toward a peak. These days the word is most familiar to English speakers in its figurative usage, meaning "to reach a climactic or decisive point."
CULMINATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of culminate for English Language Learners
: to reach the end or the final result of something
: to be the end or final result of (something)
CULMINATE Defined for Kids
Definition of culminate for Students
: to reach the end or the final result of Her campaign culminated with a victory.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up culminate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).