[ kuhl-muh-neyt ]
/ ˈkʌl məˌneɪt /

verb (used without object), cul·mi·nat·ed, cul·mi·nat·ing.

to reach the highest point, summit, or highest development (usually followed by in).
to end or arrive at a final stage (usually followed by in): The argument culminated in a fistfight.
to rise to or form an apex; terminate (usually followed by in): The tower culminates in a tall spire.
Astronomy. (of a celestial body) to be on the meridian, or reach the highest or the lowest altitude.

verb (used with object), cul·mi·nat·ed, cul·mi·nat·ing.

to bring to a close; complete; climax: A rock song culminates the performance.

Origin of culminate

1640–50; < Late Latin culminātus (past participle of culmināre to come to a peak), equivalent to Latin culmin- (stem of culmen) peak, top + -ātus -ate1


non·cul·mi·nat·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for culminate

British Dictionary definitions for culminate

/ (ˈkʌlmɪˌneɪt) /


(when intr, usually foll by in) to end or cause to end, esp to reach or bring to a final or climactic stage
(intr) (of a celestial body) to cross the meridian of the observer

Word Origin for culminate

C17: from Late Latin culmināre to reach the highest point, from Latin culmen top
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012