[ uhl-tuh-mit ]
See synonyms for: ultimateultimatesultimately on Thesaurus.com

  1. last; furthest or farthest; ending a process or series: the ultimate point in a journey; the ultimate style in hats.

  2. maximum; decisive; conclusive: the ultimate authority; the ultimate weapon.

  1. highest; not subsidiary: ultimate goal in life.

  2. basic; fundamental; representing a limit beyond which further progress, as in investigation or analysis, is impossible: the ultimate particle; ultimate principles.

  3. final; total: the ultimate consequences; the ultimate cost of a project.

  4. not to be improved upon or surpassed; greatest; unsurpassed: the ultimate vacation spot; the ultimate stupidity.

  1. the final point; final result.

  2. a fundamental fact or principle.

  1. the best, greatest, or most extreme of its kind.

Origin of ultimate

First recorded in 1645–55; from Late Latin ultimātus (past participle of ultimāre “to come to an end”), equivalent to Latin ultim(us) “last, most distant” + -ātus past participle suffix; see ultima, -ate1

synonym study For ultimate

5. See last1.

Other words for ultimate

Opposites for ultimate

Other words from ultimate

  • ul·ti·mate·ly, adverb
  • ul·ti·mate·ness, noun
  • sub·ul·ti·mate, adjective

Words that may be confused with ultimate

Words Nearby ultimate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ultimate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ultimate


/ (ˈʌltɪmɪt) /

  1. conclusive in a series or process; last; final: an ultimate question

  2. the highest or most significant: the ultimate goal

  1. elemental, fundamental, basic, or essential

  2. most extreme: genocide is the ultimate abuse of human rights

  3. final or total: an ultimate cost of twenty million pounds

  1. the most significant, highest, furthest, or greatest thing

Origin of ultimate

C17: from Late Latin ultimāre to come to an end, from Latin ultimus last, from ulter distant

Derived forms of ultimate

  • ultimateness, noun

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