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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 culminating
  • The ministry is readying a scale of sanctions, culminating in the total withdrawal of benefits, to promote compliance.
  • By the normal standards of mobile robotics, that would be a culminating demonstration for a research project.
  • And as things progress, the ratio of game to movie gets even smaller, culminating in a bizarre final five hours.
  • Flashbacks reveal the whole story and the actual culprit, culminating in a surprising last-minute twist.
  • Their rivalry, culminating in the destruction of the first transatlantic cable.
  • The culminating event will be a party of parties at which no one will be left standing.
  • There are plenty of big low-comic laughs, culminating in an inspired slapstick chase sequence.
  • Its life is also relatively short, culminating in a dull pop as its filament fractures.
  • They gradually became increasingly asymmetric and backward-bending, culminating in the flexible versions of early birds.
  • Prior to deploying, units also conduct a large-scale exercise referred to as a culminating training event.
British Dictionary definitions for culminating


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 culminating



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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