last; furthest or farthest; ending a process or series: the ultimate point in a journey; the ultimate style in hats.
maximum; decisive; conclusive: the ultimate authority; the ultimate weapon.
highest; not subsidiary: ultimate goal in life.
basic; fundamental; representing a limit beyond which further progress, as in investigation or analysis, is impossible: the ultimate particle; ultimate principles.
final; total: the ultimate consequences; the ultimate cost of a project.
not to be improved upon or surpassed; greatest; unsurpassed: the ultimate vacation spot; the ultimate stupidity.
the final point; final result.
a fundamental fact or principle.
the best, greatest, or most extreme of its kind.

1645–55; < Late Latin ultimātus (past participle of ultimāre to come to an end), equivalent to Latin ultim(us) last, most distant (see ultima) + -ātus -ate1

ultimately, adverb
ultimateness, noun
subultimate, adjective

1. paramount, tantamount, ultimately ; 2. penultimate, last, ultimate ; 3. ultimate, ultimatum.

1. extreme, remotest, uttermost. 2. supreme. 5. See last1.

5. first.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ultimate (ˈʌltɪmɪt)
1.  conclusive in a series or process; last; final: an ultimate question
2.  the highest or most significant: the ultimate goal
3.  elemental, fundamental, basic, or essential
4.  most extreme: genocide is the ultimate abuse of human rights
5.  final or total: an ultimate cost of twenty million pounds
6.  the most significant, highest, furthest, or greatest thing
[C17: from Late Latin ultimāre to come to an end, from Latin ultimus last, from ulter distant]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1654, from L.L. ultimatus, pp. of ultimare "to be final, come to an end," from ultimus "last, final," superlative of *ulter "beyond" (see ultra). Ultimate Frisbee is attested from 1972.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Now astronomers think of them as the ultimate stellar swan song.
It seems to me that the ultimate solution will have to be going from surveys to
  actual observations.
The ultimate goal is to grow beating heart muscle from a patient's own cells.
However there must be some middle ground between reporting diarrhoea and
  waiting for ultimate certainty.
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