ulterior was our Word of the Day on 03/25/2015. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of ulterior from the Web
A top aide to the mayor suggested the firefighters have an ulterior motive for lending a hand with the recall.
This leaves plenty of room for harmless teasing - mutual, joyful, ulterior-motive-free.
This leaves plenty of room for (BEG ITAL)harmless(END ITAL) teasing -- mutual, joyful, ulterior-motive-free.
There are more voices, more potential ulterior motives in play.
Qatar has insisted its neighbors are trying to force it to bend to their will on a much broader set of issues, and as the crisis has dragged on, the US has started publicly questioning whether ulterior motives are involved.
As the former F.B.I. director’s testimony suggests, law enforcement may not be the best defense against Trump’s ulterior motives.
Victoria also uses her overly feminine image as a way to conceal her ulterior motives.
Anything else would betray a lack of moral purity and reveal ulterior motives.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ulterior.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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: 1646See Words from the same year
ULTERIOR Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of ulterior for English Language Learners
: kept hidden in order to get a particular result
ULTERIOR Defined for Kids
Definition of ulterior for Students
: kept hidden usually on purpose ulterior motives
Seen and Heard
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