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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ultimate

Adjective

ultimateness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for ultimate

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 One ultimate sanction remains in Trump's arsenal: revoking Hong Kong's special US trading status, which could gut its role as an international financial hub. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump may be tiptoeing toward a break with Xi," 25 May 2020 All with the ultimate goal of making a brand focused on creating happier and healthier pups. Rachel King, Fortune, "Goodboy’s data-driven approach to pet health care," 25 May 2020 The ultimate goal is to create a herd of at least five animals that could be returned to their natural habitat in Africa. Time, "Coronavirus Is Stalling Efforts to Save the Northern White Rhino – Population, 2 – and Time Is Running Out," 25 May 2020 The ultimate guarantor of prices that can be relied on to persist, or increase, is public and political support. The Economist, "Fighting climate change The world urgently needs to expand its use of carbon prices," 23 May 2020 The Quattro must still answer up to the same ultimate, fender-crinkling laws as all other cars. Larry Griffin, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1982 Audi Quattro," 22 May 2020 Each May Americans give tribute to those in the military who have paid the ultimate price serving their country. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "Gold mine of 0% auto loans aims to rev up sales," 22 May 2020 The ultimate goal is to figure out how to prevent the disease from affecting more people. Jared D. Taylor, The Conversation, "What’s an epidemiologist?," 21 May 2020 The piece is trimmed with a high neck, storm flap, and 3M reflective detailing, and is made of a tough Japanese nylon ripstop for the ultimate technical functionality. Dan Q. Dao, Condé Nast Traveler, "Travel-Friendly Streetwear We're Shopping for Right Now," 18 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There were fight-altering ultimates and others that left a lot to be desired. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "3 talking points from the Dallas Fuel’s weekend loss to the Fusion," 11 May 2020 Both players charged their ultimates at roughly the same rate, but the value heavily favored Super. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "Four Takeaways: Shock topple Fuel, but there’s a silver lining," 10 Feb. 2020 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ultimate

Time Traveler for ultimate

Time Traveler

The first known use of ultimate was in 1640

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ultimate

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ultimate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ultimate. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ultimate

ultimate

adjective
How to pronounce ultimate (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on ultimate

What made you want to look up ultimate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!