Definition of ultimate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈəltəmət/


1Being or happening at the end of a process; final: their ultimate aim was to force his resignation
More example sentences
  • Some councillors stressed that the decision was not final and the ultimate decision would rest with tenants themselves when a ballot took place.
  • The ultimate decision could lie with the ABA and the lottery funding and sponsorship deals they can come up with.
  • Drought leads to water deficit in the leaf tissue, which affects many physiological processes and can have ultimate consequences for plant growth and survival.
eventual, final, concluding, terminal, end;
resulting, ensuing, consequent, subsequent
1.1Being the best or most extreme example of its kind: the ultimate accolade
More example sentences
  • Rowing is called the ultimate team sport because going fast requires everyone's complete commitment to the crew.
  • Football is the ultimate team sport; each player must execute his responsibilities for a play to succeed.
  • Standing at 15,2 hands, the three-year-old was awarded the ultimate accolade and crowned supreme champion of the show.
best, ideal, perfect, greatest, supreme, paramount, superlative, highest, utmost, optimum, quintessential
1.2Basic or fundamental: the ultimate constituents of anything that exists are atoms
More example sentences
  • Social atomism sees individual people as the fundamental particles, autonomous ultimate units in full charge of their destiny, empowered to make contracts freely.
  • What are the ultimate constituents of matter the most elementary of elementary particles?
  • Many scholastic and Cartesian thinkers had assumed substances to be the ultimate constituents of reality, and, as such, self-dependent.
fundamental, basic, primary, elementary, elemental, absolute, central, key, crucial, essential, pivotal
1.3 Physics Denoting the maximum possible strength or resistance beyond which an object breaks.
Example sentences
  • It responds to heat treatment on the improved permanent set stress and ultimate strength with some loss of elongation.
  • After the initial impacts, the most heavily loaded columns were probably near, but not over, their ultimate capacities.
  • Also it can be seen that the smaller diameter raft has reached to its ultimate capacity at smaller settlement than that of the raft of larger diameter.


1 (the ultimate) The best achievable or imaginable of its kind: the ultimate in decorative luxury
More example sentences
  • She was, of course, overjoyed that the film she had worked on was achieving the ultimate in mainstream international recognition.
  • With all that physical toiling in the fresh air one could be forgiven for imagining farming was the ultimate in healthy occupations.
  • One is the ultimate fantasy, the other the ultimate in human achievement.
utmost, optimum, last word, height, epitome, peak, pinnacle, acme, zenith, nonpareil, dernier cri, ne plus ultra
(the ultimate) informalda bomb
dated,, informal the bee's knees, the cat's pajamas/whiskers/meow
2A final or fundamental fact or principle.
Example sentences
  • He derived his propositional view of reality and his ‘pluralism without ultimates ' from classical sources and his own extended critical reflections on Alexander, Hegel, and Marx, particularly the latter.
  • But that doesn't diminish its status as an ultimate in technology.
  • Indian philosophy accepts only intuition as the method through which the ultimate can be known.
3 (also Ultimate) North American short for Ultimate Frisbee.
Example sentences
  • Janin's brother and father have both played Ultimate for the University of Oregon.
  • Kids are running around playing ultimate.
  • I also coordinate regular pickup games of ultimate.



Pronunciation: /-məsē/
noun (plural ultimacies)
Example sentences
  • But like any other principle claiming ultimacy, it is nothing but a phantasm - a mere assumption, an assertion, a claim - one which reigns supreme simply due to its success in excluding other, competing claims.
  • In this revolutionary rendering of the ultimacy of human being and the human world is born the spirit of absolutism, the soul of ultra-modernist culture.
  • I am thinking, for example, of the way he talks about ultimacy: ‘The likeliest path to the ultimate ground,’ he says, ‘leads through my local ground.’


Mid 17th century: from late Latin ultimatus, past participle of ultimare 'come to an end'.

  • Ultimate is from Latin ultimus ‘last’. The ultimate meaning ‘the last word’ (the ultimate in fashion) dates from the late 17th century. Penultimate (late 17th century) is paene ‘almost’ and ultimus.

Words that rhyme with ultimate


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ul·ti·mate

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