ultimate

adjective
ul·​ti·​mate | \ ˈəl-tə-mət How to pronounce ultimate (audio) \

Definition of ultimate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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
3a : original sense 1 the ultimate source
b : basic, fundamental the ultimate nature of things— A. N. Whitehead
c : incapable of further analysis, division, or separation

ultimate

noun

Definition of ultimate (Entry 2 of 3)

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

ultimate

verb
ul·​ti·​mate | \ ˈəl-tə-mət How to pronounce ultimate (audio) , -ˌmāt How to pronounce ultimate (audio) \
ultimated; ultimating

Definition of ultimate (Entry 3 of 3)

: end

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Other Words from ultimate

Adjective

ultimateness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for ultimate

Synonyms: Adjective

consummate, last, max, maximum, most, nth, outside, paramount, supreme, top, utmost, uttermost

Antonyms: Adjective

least, minimal, minimum, slightest

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Choose the Right Synonym for ultimate

Adjective

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

The Baysox might have fallen short of their ultimate goal. Peter Schmuck, baltimoresun.com, "Schmuck: Multiple minor league playoff runs prove Orioles farm system has turned a corner," 15 Sep. 2019 Week 1 against good offenses is the ultimate small sample size. Stephanie Stradley, Houston Chronicle, "Stephanie Stradley’s Texans-Jaguars Q&A with Alfie Crow," 14 Sep. 2019 Social Security is likely to be your largest source of income, so the bigger your check, the more comfortable your ultimate retirement will be. Liz Weston | Nerdwallet.com, oregonlive, "Liz Weston: Late starter still can make use of budget skills, focus on retirement," 14 Sep. 2019 Buttigeig said he was worried coming out as gay would be the ultimate career setback. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "Takeaways from Buttigieg's performance at Thursday's Democratic debate," 13 Sep. 2019 Of course, while some fans might want the two former co-stars to form the ultimate Disney couple, Cole is currently dating his Riverdale co-star Lili Reinhart. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Selena Gomez Just Revealed She Used to Have a Crush on Cole Sprouse and His Response is Hilarious," 13 Sep. 2019 In Semicolon Cecelia Watson provides a brief history of the origin and ultimate acceptance of the semicolon. Joseph Epstein, National Review, "The Art of Punctuation," 12 Sep. 2019 Faraglia said even if Mason had served the entire sentence, Mason’s ultimate end goal was the same. Cory Shaffer, cleveland.com, "Disgraced former judge Lance Mason has chance at parole after admitting to ex-wife’s murder," 12 Sep. 2019 This gift our forefathers gave us, and that our armed forces have preserved for us at great and sometimes ultimate cost, is a goal that non-citizen immigrants should also strive to achieve. BostonGlobe.com, "Should Massachusetts cities and towns be allowed to extend the right to vote in local elections to legal non-citizens?," 10 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His contrast between the two ultimates of Timon’s emotional pendulum is marvelously rich and instructive. James Hebert, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Remembering Jonathan McMurtry — Old Globe associate artist, teacher and dean of Shakespeare actors in San Diego," 13 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Only when forced to face her demons after things go awry with love interest Nico (Roberta Colindrez) and handyman Baco (Raúl Castillo) does Emma open the door to ultimate freedom. Ew Staff, EW.com, "What to Watch this Weekend: Meryl isn't backing down on Big Little Lies, plus the BET Awards," 21 June 2019 Weight loss diets are seen as the gateway to ultimate wellness. SELF, "I'm a Personal Trainer and I Never Tell My Clients to Go On a Diet," 24 Sep. 2018 The act went through the heartbreak of completing an album, which they ultimate ditched. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Pnau Talk 'Changa,' Altered States and Share New Track 'La Grenouille': Exclusive Premiere," 9 Nov. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of ultimate

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

History and Etymology for ultimate

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

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Statistics for ultimate

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ultimate

The first known use of ultimate was in 1640

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More Definitions for ultimate

ultimate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of ultimate

: 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

adjective
ul·​ti·​mate | \ ˈəl-tə-mət How to pronounce ultimate (audio) \

Kids Definition of ultimate

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.

Other Words from ultimate

ultimately adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on ultimate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ultimate

Spanish Central: Translation of ultimate

Nglish: Translation of ultimate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ultimate for Arabic Speakers

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