1

ultimate

adjective ul·ti·mate \ ˈəl-tə-mət \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of ultimate

1 a : last in a progression or series : final
  • their ultimate destination was Paris
b : eventual 2
  • they hoped for ultimate success
c : the best or most extreme of its kind : utmost
  • the ultimate sacrifice
d : most remote in space or time : farthest
2 : arrived at as the last result
  • the ultimate question
3 a : original 1
  • the ultimate source
b : basic, fundamental
  • the ultimate nature of things
  • —A. N. Whitehead
c : incapable of further analysis, division, or separation

ultimateness

noun

Examples of ultimate in a Sentence

  1. Their ultimate fate has not yet been decided.

  2. Our ultimate aim is to increase production.

Recent Examples of ultimate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ultimate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of ultimate

Medieval Latin ultimatus last, final, from Late Latin, past participle of ultimare to come to an end, be last, from Latin ultimus farthest, last, final, superlative of Latin *ulter situated beyond

Synonym Discussion of ultimate

last, final, terminal, ultimate mean following all others (as in time, order, or importance). last applies to something that comes at the end of a series but does not always imply that the series is completed or stopped.
    • last page of a book
    • last news we had of him
final applies to that which definitely closes a series, process, or progress.
    • final day of school
terminal may indicate a limit of extension, growth, or development.
    • terminal phase of a disease
ultimate implies the last degree or stage of a long process beyond which further progress or change is impossible.
    • the ultimate collapse of the system

2

ultimate

noun

Definition of ultimate

1 : something ultimate; especially : fundamental
2 : acme
3 capitalized : ultimate frisbee

Recent Examples of ultimate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ultimate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of ultimate

1681

Other Field and Goal Sports Terms


3

ultimate

verb ul·ti·mate \ ˈəl-tə-mət , -ˌmāt \

Definition of ultimate

ultimated; ultimating
: end

Recent Examples of ultimate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ultimate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of ultimate

circa 1834



ULTIMATE Defined for English Language Learners

ultimate

adjective

Definition of ultimate for English Language Learners

  • : happening or coming at the end of a process, series of events, etc.

  • : greatest or most extreme

  • —used to refer to the original or basic source or cause of something


ULTIMATE Defined for Kids

ultimate

adjective ul·ti·mate \ ˈəl-tə-mət \

Definition of ultimate for Students

1 : last in a series : final The traveler's ultimate destination was Rome.
2 : most extreme
  • the ultimate sacrifice
3 : relating to or being the chief or most important
  • She has ultimate responsibility for the accident.

ultimately

adverb


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