Share this entry

culminate Line breaks: cul¦min|ate
Pronunciation: /ˈkʌlmɪneɪt/

Definition of culminate in English:


[no object]
1Reach a climax or point of highest development: weeks of violence culminated in the brutal murder of a magistrate
More example sentences
  • Senescence represents the last stage of flower development, ultimately culminating in the death of the petals.
  • Today this campaign culminated in a mass rally in London.
  • Michelle had a very difficult labour, which eventually culminated in an emergency Caesarian delivery.
come to a climax, come to a crescendo, come to a head, reach a finale, peak, climax, reach a pinnacle;
build up to, lead up to;
informal wind up
1.1 [with object] Be the climax or point of highest development of: her book culminated a research project on the symmetry studies of Escher
More example sentences
  • The book culminates years of work by the author and traces the history of the Parish from monastic times to the present day.
  • It is this collection of seven factors and their supporting details that culminate this research.
  • ‘I've been out for about a year, so I guess in a way this project culminates my own feelings about it,’ she says.
2 archaic or Astrology (Of a celestial body) reach or be at the meridian: the star culminates at midnight on about the 30th April
More example sentences
  • Thus if the fixed star Regulus culminates on the Midheaven as Mercury rises on the ascendant it is referred to as a paran of Mercury and considered to have an influence upon its meaning.
  • As the Earth rotates on its axis from west to east, it appears from our apparently stationary viewpoint that the stars rise in the east, culminate on the upper meridian and set in the west.
  • Saturn culminated on the midheaven as Beethoven passed away.


Mid 17th century (in astronomy and astrology): from late Latin culminat- 'exalted', from the verb culminare, from culmen 'summit'.

Words that rhyme with culminate


Definition of culminate in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coiffeur
Pronunciation: kwɑːˈfəː
a hairdresser