a final, uncompromising demand or set of terms issued by a party to a dispute, the rejection of which may lead to a severance of relations or to the use of force.
a final proposal or statement of conditions.
- ultimate, ultimatum
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use ultimatum in a sentence
Classical Academies CEO Cameron Curry called teachers’ interpretation of his message as an ultimatum a “misunderstanding” and said teachers would not be fired or removed for choosing not to return to the classroom.Morning Report: A Charter Walks Back Reopening Plans | Voice of San Diego | January 12, 2021 | Voice of San Diego
The answer to your brother is that you really want to love your sister-in-law as you know he does, “but her ultimatums about the ex make it a challenge.”Miss Manners: Stop and think before hitting ‘reply all’ | Judith Martin, Nicholas Martin, Jacobina Martin | December 10, 2020 | Washington Post
I hardly want to issue a "weed or me" ultimatum — and I am not even anti-weed.Carolyn Hax: He worries that every day after Jan. 1 will be 420 | Carolyn Hax | December 10, 2020 | Washington Post
Facebook executives approached Ali Partovi, the creator of a popular app that used Facebook’s data, a decade ago with a threatening ultimatum.Silicon Valley feared Facebook’s bullying tactics years before they came to the attention of regulators | Elizabeth Dwoskin | December 10, 2020 | Washington Post
This ultimatum shouldn’t be forced upon often-underpaid waiters, line cooks, and dishwashers.Is the Government Just Going to Watch the Restaurant Industry Die? | Elazar Sontag | August 28, 2020 | Eater
Obama would then give Congress an ultimatum: Act by a certain date, perhaps a hundred days into the new Congress, or he will.Can Obama and a Republican Senate Find Common Ground? | Eleanor Clift | November 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
And so Scheunemann offered an ultimatum: Kick Spencer out, or he would leave.
So Giles issues Ellie an ultimatum: Find Matthew Smith and write a killer story, or find yourself a new job.Toni Collette on ‘The Realistic Joneses,’‘Lucky Them,’ and Crying in ‘The Sixth Sense’ | Melissa Leon | June 1, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
This is an ultimatum seeking a target in the disorienting matrix of asymmetric warfare.The History and Logic of Military Ultimatums, From Suez to Crimea | Jacob Siegel | March 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Putin said there had been no ultimatum for Ukrainian forces to surrender, as was widely reported Monday.
The manhood of Homestead rebelled: the millmen scorned the despotic ultimatum.Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist | Alexander Berkman
On receiving this ultimatum, the magistrates asked for time to communicate with the Elector and the King of England.Belgium | George W. T. (George William Thomson) Omond
But, probably realising the futility of such a course, he changed his mind, and delivered an ultimatum from the top step.The Gold Bat | P. G. Wodehouse
After favouring me with his ultimatum, the Vicomte looked at me expectantly.Dross | Henry Seton Merriman
On the 9th of October, 1899, the Transvaal Government presented an ultimatum.Story of the War in South Africa | Captain A. T. Mahan, U.S.N.
British Dictionary definitions for ultimatum
a final communication by a party, esp a government, setting forth conditions on which it insists, as during negotiations on some topic
any final or peremptory demand, offer, or proposal
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
Cultural definitions for ultimatum
A formal message delivered from one government to another threatening war if the receiving government fails to comply with conditions set forth in the message. For example, after the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand in 1914, the government of Austria sent an ultimatum to Serbia, which Austria held responsible for the assassination.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.