ulterior

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adjective ul·te·ri·or \ˌəl-ˈtir-ē-ər\

Definition of ulterior

  1. 1 a :  further, future b :  more distant c :  situated on the farther side

  2. 2 :  going beyond what is openly said or shown and especially what is proper <ulterior motives>

ulteriorly

adverb

Did You Know?

Although now usually hitched to the front of the noun "motive" to refer to a hidden need or desire that inspires action, "ulterior" began its career as an adjective in the mid-17th century describing something occurring at a subsequent time. By the early 18th century it was being used to mean both "more distant" (literally and figuratively) and "situated on the farther side." The "hidden" sense with which we're most familiar today followed quickly after those, with the word modifying nouns like "purpose," "design," and "consequence." "Ulterior" comes directly from the Latin word for "farther" or "further," itself assumed to be the comparative form of ulter, meaning "situated beyond."

Origin and Etymology of ulterior

Latin, farther, further, comparative of *ulter situated beyond, from uls beyond; akin to Latin ollus, ille, that one, Old Irish indoll beyond


First Known Use: 1646



ULTERIOR Defined for English Language Learners

ulterior

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adjective ul·te·ri·or \ˌəl-ˈtir-ē-ər\

Definition of ulterior for English Language Learners

  • : kept hidden in order to get a particular result


ULTERIOR Defined for Kids

ulterior

play
adjective ul·te·ri·or \ˌəl-ˈtir-ē-ər\

Definition of ulterior for Students

  1. :  kept hidden usually on purpose <ulterior motives>


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