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



Definition of ultimate (Entry 2 of 3)

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


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


ultimateness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for ultimate

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 Ahead of National Police Weekend, the community came together waving flags and holding signs and pictures of officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, WGGB-TV reported. Fox News, 17 Oct. 2021 Thus, understanding what customers really want and creating the ultimate customer experience is essential. Nida Leardprasopsuk, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 The brand's Variety Pack features that mask plus four more for the ultimate at-home self-care experience. Meaghan Kenny, Condé Nast Traveler, 30 Sep. 2021 The Mellanni sheet set provides a solid foundation for creating the ultimate hotel experience at home. Sanah Faroke, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 Sep. 2021 So my two-day, two-night trip to Dallas searching for the ultimate Texas high school football experience came with high expectations. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 30 Aug. 2021 Remember the ultimate goal is to have products and services that end up in the market. Tendayi Viki, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2021 The ultimate goal for Yendrys is one day opening a small bakery in, of course, the Ukrainian Village. John Benson, cleveland, 1 Oct. 2021 The ultimate goal is to be a positive force in society. David Marchese, New York Times, 1 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Goldmann-Gilead lived through the ultimate of horrors. Elie Honig, CNN, 14 Oct. 2021 The Gladiators made a mistake, and Fearless used his ultimate to take the Gladiators’ support players out of the fight. Sean Collins, Dallas News, 9 June 2021 Fielder used his ultimate on Moira in a fight that was unwinnable. Sean Collins, Dallas News, 31 May 2021 Should the Gophers collect others while pursuing their ultimate of the national championship, that's gravy. Randy Johnson, Star Tribune, 4 Mar. 2021 There were fight-altering ultimates and others that left a lot to be desired. Sean Collins, Dallas News, 11 May 2020 Both players charged their ultimates at roughly the same rate, but the value heavily favored Super. Sean Collins, Dallas News, 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, 13 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For keen Christo fans and collectors, Sotheby’s Paris is presenting The Final Christo (until 3 October), an exhibition of 25 works telling the story of L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, from early dream to to ultimate realisation six decades later. Joanne Shurvell, Forbes, 29 Sep. 2021 At the beginning of Harbaugh’s tenure as Ravens coach, the Pittsburgh Steelers barred the door to ultimate success. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, 18 Sep. 2021 As a player, Jared Goff and Peyton Manning are counting on me to do my job, which ultimate leads to helping the team. Mitch Stephens, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 Sep. 2021 Member of the 1970s all-decade team, Stabler was the 1974 NFL MVP and led the Raiders to ultimate glory in Super Bowl XI. Jim Reineking, USA TODAY, 29 Oct. 2020 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, 21 June 2019 Weight loss diets are seen as the gateway to ultimate wellness. SELF, 24 Sep. 2018 The act went through the heartbreak of completing an album, which they ultimate ditched. Lars Brandle, Billboard, 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


1640, in the meaning defined at sense 1d


1681, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1834, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ultimate


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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Time Traveler for ultimate

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The first known use of ultimate was in 1640

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Dictionary Entries Near ultimate

ultima ratio regum


ultimate analysis

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Statistics for ultimate

Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ultimate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ultimate. Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on ultimate

Nglish: Translation of ultimate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ultimate for Arabic Speakers


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