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[kuhl-muh-neyt] /ˈkʌl məˌneɪt/
verb (used without object), culminated, culminating.
to reach the highest point, summit, or highest development (usually followed by in).
to end or arrive at a final stage (usually followed by in):
The argument culminated in a fistfight.
to rise to or form an apex; terminate (usually followed by in):
The tower culminates in a tall spire.
Astronomy. (of a celestial body) to be on the meridian, or reach the highest or the lowest altitude.
verb (used with object), culminated, culminating.
to bring to a close; complete; climax:
A rock song culminates the performance.
1640-50; < Late Latin culminātus (past participle of culmināre to come to a peak), equivalent to Latin culmin- (stem of culmen) peak, top + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
nonculminating, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for culminates
  • After the rest is satiated, all interest culminates in the field of persons, and never flags there.
  • The shindig always culminates with the immolation of a virtual wooden giant.
  • The recommendation culminates a decade of debate among scientists trying to decide what concentration is safe to drink.
  • The popularity of orchids culminates in spring displays that pull in huge crowds.
  • Witness the dramatic story of survival and endurance that culminates in nothing less than a scientific miracle.
  • His adventure culminates with a visit to the site that was recently named one of the world's new seven wonders.
  • The tour culminates with a free tasting of any one of the nine products made in the distillery.
  • Biblical-based tour culminates with a huge afternoon parade.
  • The walk along the town culminates in a small archaeological museum.
  • Predictably enough, this line of argument culminates in a plea for more subsidies for regional theatres.
British Dictionary definitions for culminates


when intr, usually foll by in. to end or cause to end, esp to reach or bring to a final or climactic stage
(intransitive) (of a celestial body) to cross the meridian of the observer
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin culmināre to reach the highest point, from Latin culmen top
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
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Word Origin and History for culminates



1640s, from Late Latin culminatus past participle of culminare "to top, to crown," from Latin culmen (genitive culminis) "top, peak, summit, roof, gable," also used figuratively, contraction of columen (see column). Related: Culminated; culminating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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