penultimate

[ pi-nuhl-tuh-mit ]
/ pɪˈnʌl tə mɪt /

adjective

next to the last: the penultimate scene of the play.
of or relating to a penult or the next to the last syllable in a word: In the word appropriate,-pri- is the penultimate syllable.

noun

a penult.

QUIZZES

DON’T VACILLATE! VANQUISH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

It’d be a real faux pas to miss this quiz on the words from August 3–9, 2020!
Question 1 of 7
What does “vacillate” mean?

Origin of penultimate

First recorded in 1670–80; see origin at penult, ultimate

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH penultimate

last, penultimate , ultimate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for penultimate

British Dictionary definitions for penultimate

penultimate
/ (pɪˈnʌltɪmɪt) /

adjective

next to the last

noun

anything that is next to the last, esp a penult

Word Origin for penultimate

C17: from Latin paene almost + ultimate, on the model of Latin paenultimus
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