- a final, uncompromising demand or set of terms issued by a party to a dispute, the rejection of which may lead to a severance of relations or to the use of force.
- a final proposal or statement of conditions.
Origin of ultimatum
Examples from the Web for ultimatum
Obama would then give Congress an ultimatum: Act by a certain date, perhaps a hundred days into the new Congress, or he will.Can Obama and a Republican Senate Find Common Ground?
November 4, 2014
And so Scheunemann offered an ultimatum: Kick Spencer out, or he would leave.A Racist’s Crazy Ski Resort Smackdown
October 18, 2014
So Giles issues Ellie an ultimatum: Find Matthew Smith and write a killer story, or find yourself a new job.Toni Collette on ‘The Realistic Joneses,’‘Lucky Them,’ and Crying in ‘The Sixth Sense’
June 1, 2014
This is an ultimatum seeking a target in the disorienting matrix of asymmetric warfare.The History and Logic of Military Ultimatums, From Suez to Crimea
March 4, 2014
Putin said there had been no ultimatum for Ukrainian forces to surrender, as was widely reported Monday.Putin Hits Pause
March 4, 2014
Our ultimatum was despatched to Suna on the very day on which we received this sad news.Freeland
For the United States it is a record of honor; for Europe it is an ultimatum.Latin America and the United States
The captain's parting remark was in the nature of an ultimatum.
Then she called her daughter to her and issued an ultimatum.
Then without pause he turned on Sunny and delivered his ultimatum.The Twins of Suffering Creek
- a final communication by a party, esp a government, setting forth conditions on which it insists, as during negotiations on some topic
- any final or peremptory demand, offer, or proposal
Word Origin and History for ultimatum
1731, from Modern Latin, from Medieval Latin adjective ultimatum "last possible, final," from Latin ultimatum, neuter of ultimatus (see ultimate). Hamilton and others use the Latin plural ultimata. In slang c.1820s, ultimatum was used for "the buttocks."
A formal message delivered from one government to another threatening war if the receiving government fails to comply with conditions set forth in the message. For example, after the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand in 1914, the government of Austria sent an ultimatum to Serbia, which Austria held responsible for the assassination.