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 for ultimate

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

Antonyms for ultimate

5. first.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ultimately

Contemporary Examples of ultimately

Historical Examples of ultimately

  • They call it a lift here, not knowing any better, but it gets there ultimately.

  • My afterlife was ultimately formed by the shock I had then received.

  • To this Cleo ultimately agreed, won over by Morgan's last argument.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill

  • He ultimately consented, and the marriage was solemnized by Abbe Mouret.

    A Zola Dictionary

    J. G. Patterson

  • Ultimately he asked her to marry him, and to this she agreed.

    A Zola Dictionary

    J. G. Patterson

British Dictionary definitions for ultimately



in the end; at last; finally



conclusive in a series or process; last; finalan ultimate question
the highest or most significantthe ultimate goal
elemental, fundamental, basic, or essential
most extremegenocide is the ultimate abuse of human rights
final or totalan ultimate cost of twenty million pounds


the most significant, highest, furthest, or greatest thing
Derived Formsultimateness, noun

Word Origin for ultimate

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 ultimately



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper