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

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

Antonyms: Adjective

least, minimal, minimum, slightest

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

If Sanders was a home run slugger, Smith was the ultimate on-base hitter, wearing down defenses with steady doses of three- to eight-yard runs. The Si Staff, SI.com, "100 Figures Who Shaped the NFL’s First Century," 28 Aug. 2019 For those seeking the ultimate in luxury, check out their Grand Day Spa Retreat Package which includes a sixty-minute therapeutic massage, a sixty-minute portrait facial, lunch, and use of the spa facilities and fitness center. Danielle Bauter, Orange County Register, "Escape to the glamorous life at Fairmont Grand Del Mar," 27 Aug. 2019 For me, however, this is the ultimate go-to palette. Angela Trakoshis, Allure, "Anastasia Beverly Hills' New Norvina Palette Is Almost Here — and I've Been Using It For Months," 22 Aug. 2019 Upper Kirby is also home to amenity-rich condos such as The Giorgetti, 2727 Kirby at River Oaks, and Lamar Tower, which also provide the ultimate in luxury offerings. Valerie Sweeten, Houston Chronicle, "Condo Life on the Market: Focus on the luxury Upper Kirby lifestyle," 17 Aug. 2019 And now for something completely different Triathlon is a sport that tests the ultimate in human endurance. Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: Bad news for the Lakers," 16 Aug. 2019 Lindsay, now in his second year with the Denver Broncos, was the ultimate all-around back who embraced – and excelled – in pass blocking, catching the ball and running. Brian Howell, The Denver Post, "Alex Fontenot striving to be all-around back for CU Buffs," 6 Aug. 2019 With the rise of science, though, people have stretched its incremental powers to glimpse the ultimate. David Von Drehle, Twin Cities, "David Von Drehle: There’s no scientific consensus that humanity is doomed," 14 July 2019 But the original film remains, as Gidget might say, the absolute ultimate. Donald Liebenson, latimes.com, "The surf classic ‘Gidget’ is 60 this year, and it remains the ‘absolute ultimate’," 11 July 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.

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

Statistics for ultimate

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ultimate

The first known use of ultimate was in 1640

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

recurring in steady succession

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!