Word of the DayFriday, May 30, 2014
\pi-NUHL-tuh-mit\ , adjective;
next to the last: the penultimate scene of the play.
of or pertaining to a penult.
I forced myself to picture the last moments. The penultimate breath. A final sigh. And yet. It was always followed by another.
-- Nicole Krauss, The History of Love, 2005
It has been well said that mythology is the penultimate truth--penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words. It is beyond words…
-- Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, 1988
Penultimate combines a variation on the Latin paene meaning "almost" with ultimus meaning "final." It entered English in the mid-1500s.
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