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ultimate

[uhl-tuh-mit]
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adjective
  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.
  3. highest; not subsidiary: ultimate goal in life.
  4. basic; fundamental; representing a limit beyond which further progress, as in investigation or analysis, is impossible: the ultimate particle; ultimate principles.
  5. final; total: the ultimate consequences; the ultimate cost of a project.
  6. not to be improved upon or surpassed; greatest; unsurpassed: the ultimate vacation spot; the ultimate stupidity.
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noun
  1. the final point; final result.
  2. a fundamental fact or principle.
  3. the best, greatest, or most extreme of its kind.
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Origin of ultimate

1645–55; < Late Latin ultimātus (past participle of ultimāre to come to an end), equivalent to Latin ultim(us) last, most distant (see ultima) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsul·ti·mate·ly, adverbul·ti·mate·ness, nounsub·ul·ti·mate, adjective
Can be confusedparamount ultimatepenultimate last ultimateultimate ultimatum

Synonyms

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1. extreme, remotest, uttermost. 2. supreme. 5. See last1.

Antonyms

5. first.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for ultimate

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people?

  • In that insistence lay her ultimate compensation for untold misery.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • It is, if I can fully attain to it, the ultimate realisation of the artistic life.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde

  • It was of course my soul in its ultimate essence that I had reached.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde

  • But to recognise that the soul of a man is unknowable, is the ultimate achievement of wisdom.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde


British Dictionary definitions for ultimate

ultimate

adjective
  1. conclusive in a series or process; last; finalan ultimate question
  2. the highest or most significantthe ultimate goal
  3. elemental, fundamental, basic, or essential
  4. most extremegenocide is the ultimate abuse of human rights
  5. final or totalan ultimate cost of twenty million pounds
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noun
  1. the most significant, highest, furthest, or greatest thing
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Derived Formsultimateness, noun

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for ultimate

adj.

1650s, from Late Latin ultimatus, past participle of ultimare "to be final, come to an end," from ultimus "last, final," superlative of *ulter "beyond" (see ultra-). Ultimate Frisbee is attested from 1972.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper