Definition of penultimate in English:

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Pronunciation: /pɪˈnʌltɪmət/


Last but one in a series of things; second last: the penultimate chapter of the book
More example sentences
  • It seems certain that the opening chapter of the penultimate story in the series will contain major revelations.
  • Even so, they will go tomorrow into the penultimate day of the series knowing they still have a chance of squaring it.
  • The penultimate chapter of the book asks if fascism can reappear in modern society, using the five stages as an indicator.


Late 17th century: from Latin paenultimus, from paene 'almost' + ultimus 'last', on the pattern of ultimate.

  • ultimate from mid 17th century:

    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 penultimate


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pen|ul¦ti|mate

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