ultimate

1 of 3

adjective

ul·​ti·​mate ˈəl-tə-mət How to pronounce ultimate (audio)
1
a
: last in a progression or series : final
their ultimate destination was Paris
b
: eventual sense 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 sense 1
the ultimate source
b
: basic, fundamental
the ultimate nature of thingsA. N. Whitehead
c
: incapable of further analysis, division, or separation
ultimateness noun

ultimate

2 of 3

noun

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

ultimate

3 of 3

verb

ul·​ti·​mate ˈəl-tə-mət How to pronounce ultimate (audio) -ˌmāt How to pronounce ultimate (audio)
ultimated; ultimating
: end
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of ultimate in a Sentence

Adjective Their ultimate fate has not yet been decided. Our ultimate aim is to increase production.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Effortless and relaxed makes for the ultimate combo. Gab Waller, Vogue, 12 June 2024 Even so, there's an ultimate deadline to keep in mind. Kyle Russell, The Indianapolis Star, 12 June 2024
Noun
This book, this whole thing, has been the ultimate of my art. Liz Smith, Vulture, 31 Jan. 2024 As this ultimate of skin-tightening procedures — and the patient demographic getting them — evolves, Allure is exploring the phenomenon of the modern facelift in our new series, Want a Lift? Kara Nesvig, Allure, 17 Apr. 2024
Verb
Medterra Prepare on a life-changing journey to ultimate well-being with Medterra's CBD oil, which has been meticulously crafted through whole-plant extraction. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 22 July 2023 This epic Civil Rights biopic covers the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, which ultimate leads to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Chaise Sanders, Country Living, 5 Feb. 2023 See all Example Sentences for ultimate 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ultimate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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

First Known Use

Adjective

1640, in the meaning defined at sense 1d

Noun

1681, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1834, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ultimate was in 1640

Dictionary Entries Near ultimate

Cite this Entry

“Ultimate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ultimate. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

ultimate

1 of 2 adjective
ul·​ti·​mate ˈəl-tə-mət How to pronounce ultimate (audio)
1
a
: farthest entry 1
the ultimate reaches of the universe
b
: last in a progression : final
c
: extreme entry 1 sense 1
the ultimate sacrifice
2
: arrived at as the last result
the ultimate damage of the hurricane
3
a
: basic entry 1 sense 1
ultimate control
b
: incapable of further division or separation : elemental
ultimate particles
4
: being the greatest : maximum
the ultimate speed of an airplane
ultimate noun
ultimately adverb

ultimate

2 of 2 noun

More from Merriam-Webster on ultimate

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