American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Next to last.
- adj. Linguistics Of or relating to the penult of a word: penultimate stress.
- n. The next to the last.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Immediately preceding that member of a series which is the last; next before the last; being the last but one: as, the penultimate syllable; the penultimate joint. Compare antepenultimate.
- n. That member of a series which is the last but one; specifically, the last syllable but one of a word.
- n. In whist and bridge, the lowest but one of a suit.
- adj. formal Coming next-to-last in a sequence.
- adj. linguistics Of or pertaining to a penult.
- n. this sense?) A next-to-last thing.
- n. linguistics A next-to-last syllable in a linguistic unit.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Last but one.
- n. The penult.
- n. the next to last syllable in a word
- adj. next to the last
- From Latin paenultimus, from paene ("almost") + ultimus ("last"). (Wiktionary)
- From Latin paenultimus; see penult. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The former Republican New York gubernatorial candidate pens a letter insulting a journalist "Maybe it's your youth, immaturity, inexperience, or what appears to be an endless desire to ingratiate yourself with people in power...", then misuses the word "penultimate.”
“No words but monosyllables or contracted forms have the accent on the last; dissyllables are therefore always accented on the first, and polysyllables on the first or second, according as the penultimate is short or long, _Lúcius, cecídi_.”
“graeme on 8-19-2008 at 1:14 pm yay for the proper usage of the word penultimate!”
“I started reading and was immediately sideswiped and distracted by the lead-in writer’s use of the word penultimate - Gilder’s penultimate point?”
“These philosophies are what might be called the penultimate forms of irrationalism.”
“Southwards down the African coast it is doubtful whether in face of the interference of England, Russia, France, Denmark and Spain, he could have made piracy pay; but in turning for the Mediterranean he took what we may call the penultimate step of his life which meant for him settling down.”
“In the last section of this MS. _but one_ (that is, the penultimate), I think that I have omitted a line in the copy sent to you from Florence, viz. after the line --”
“The eighth wicket was taken by Malinga and the penultimate was a run-out!”
“Here we are at the second to last A Movie A Day, what Herc would call penultimate, and the final film in nearly a work-week worth of Neil Simon movies: CALIFORNIA SUITE.”
“Of course, this pope is described as the penultimate pope, to be followed by "Peter of Rome" who will destroy the city.”
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