penultimate

[pi-nuhl-tuh-mit]
adjective
1.
next to the last: the penultimate scene of the play.
2.
of or pertaining to a penult.
noun
3.
a penult.

Origin:
1670–80; see penult, ultimate

penultimate, last, ultimate.
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World English Dictionary
penultimate (pɪˈnʌltɪmɪt)
 
adj
1.  next to the last
 
n
2.  anything that is next to the last, esp a penult
 
[C17: from Latin paene almost + ultimate, on the model of Latin paenultimus]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

penultimate
1677, from earlier penultima (n.) "the next to the last syllable of a word or verse," from fem. of L. adj. penultimus "next-to-last," from pæne "almost" + ultimus "final."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The crash happened on the third turn of the half-mile dirt track, on the
  penultimate lap of the race.
Was that a 'going forward' in the penultimate paragraph?
The penultimate chapter presents the example of Mary as a paragon of simplicity.
It should be accented on the penultimate, but the patrons immediately moved the
  accent one place forward.
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