Definition of ultimatum
ultimataplay \ˌəl-tə-ˈmā-tə, -ˈmä-\
: a final proposition, condition, or demand; especially : one whose rejection will end negotiations and cause a resort to force or other direct action
Examples of ultimatum in a Sentence
She was given an ultimatum—work harder or lose her job.
issued the ultimatum that the project be finished by the following week, or it would be terminated
Recent Examples of ultimatum from the Web
Ser Alliser gives Ser Davos and those guarding Jon Snow's body an ultimatum.
Don't offer ultimatums (she'll be forced to wonder about the possible consequences).
Don’t offer ultimatums (she’ll be forced to wonder about the possible consequences).
In 2012, Parkview Healthcare Center’s history of safety violations led California regulators to issue an ultimatum reserved for the most dangerous nursing homes.
An ultimatum to Qatar threatening further sanctions expired overnight.
Doha, Qatar (CNN)As Qatar faces the deadline of an ultimatum by its neighbors to comply with their list of sweeping demands, there is an atmosphere of defiance and patriotism in the capital Doha.
The counselor says that Maci needs to give Ryan an ultimatum.
There was, UCF people argue, no ultimatum given to De La Haye at the meeting.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ultimatum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
An ultimatum is usually issued by a stronger power to a weaker one, since it wouldn't carry much weight if the one giving the ultimatum couldn't back up its threat. Near the end of World War II, the Allied powers issued an ultimatum to Japan: surrender completely or face the consequences. Japan rejected the ultimatum, and within days the U.S. had dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing some 200,000 people.
Origin and Etymology of ultimatum
New Latin, from Medieval Latin, neuter of ultimatus final
First Known Use: 1731See Words from the same year
ULTIMATUM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of ultimatum for English Language Learners
: a final threat : a promise that force or punishment will be used if someone does not do what is wanted
ULTIMATUM Defined for Kids
Definition of ultimatum for Students
: a final condition or demand that if rejected could end future negotiations and lead to forceful or undesirable action
Seen and Heard
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