ul·​ti·​ma | \ ˈəl-tə-mə How to pronounce ultima (audio) \

Definition of ultima

: the last syllable of a word

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In Latin, ultima is the feminine form of the adjective ultimus ("farthest or last"), the superlative form of ulter, meaning "situated beyond." The ultima is the last syllable of a word; the second-to-last syllable in a word is called the penult or penultima (literally, "that which is almost last"); and the third-to-last syllable is called the antepenult or antepenultima ("that which comes before what is almost last"). The related word ultimate, while known to most people as meaning "the best or most extreme of its kind" (as in "surfers finding the ultimate wave"), has an original meaning referring to the last of something in a series.

First Known Use of ultima

circa 1864, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ultima

Latin, feminine of ultimus last

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The first known use of ultima was circa 1864

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Dictionary Entries Near ultima

ulterior motive



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Cite this Entry

“Ultima.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ultima. Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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