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ultimate

[uhl-tuh-mit] /ˈʌl tə mɪt/
adjective
1.
last; furthest or farthest; ending a process or series:
the ultimate point in a journey; the ultimate style in hats.
2.
maximum; decisive; conclusive:
the ultimate authority; the ultimate weapon.
3.
highest; not subsidiary:
ultimate goal in life.
4.
basic; fundamental; representing a limit beyond which further progress, as in investigation or analysis, is impossible:
the ultimate particle; ultimate principles.
5.
final; total:
the ultimate consequences; the ultimate cost of a project.
6.
not to be improved upon or surpassed; greatest; unsurpassed:
the ultimate vacation spot; the ultimate stupidity.
noun
7.
the final point; final result.
8.
a fundamental fact or principle.
9.
the best, greatest, or most extreme of its kind.
Origin
1645-1655
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
Related forms
ultimately, adverb
ultimateness, noun
subultimate, adjective
Can be confused
paramount, tantamount, ultimately.
penultimate, last, ultimate.
ultimate, ultimatum.
Synonyms
1. extreme, remotest, uttermost. 2. supreme. 5. See last1 .
Antonyms
5. first.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ultimate
  • 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.
  • The ultimate goal is to eliminate all wire leads, making the pacemaker easier to implant.
  • To have the fate of loved ones known with certainty, to bring them home at last to the country they served, is our ultimate wish.
  • The trip was not easy and many died along the way, but their ultimate success inspired others.
  • Jellyfish should be celebrated as one of our planet's ultimate survivalists.
  • His ultimate political ideal included nothing short of the welfare and the commercial federation of the world.
  • The ultimate result is that each creature tends to become more and more improved in relation to its conditions.
British Dictionary definitions for ultimate

ultimate

/ˈʌltɪmɪt/
adjective
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
noun
6.
the most significant, highest, furthest, or greatest thing
Derived Forms
ultimateness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin ultimāre to come to an end, from Latin ultimus last, from ulter distant
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 ultimate
adj.

1650s, from Late Latin ultimatus, past participle 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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