from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Lying beyond what is evident, revealed, or avowed, especially being concealed intentionally so as to deceive.
  • adjective Lying beyond or outside the area of immediate interest.
  • adjective Occurring later; subsequent.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Being or situated beyond or on the further side of any line or boundary.
  • Not at present in view or in consideration; in the future or in the background; beyond what is seen or avowed; remote: as, what ulterior measures will be adopted is uncertain.
  • noun The further side; the remote part. Coleridge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Situated beyond, or on the farther side; thither; -- correlative with hither.
  • adjective Further; remoter; more distant; succeeding.
  • adjective a motive, object or aim beyond that which is avowed.
  • noun rare Ulterior side or part.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective beyond what is obvious or evident
  • adjective being intentionally concealed so as to deceive
  • adjective happening later; subsequent

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective lying beyond what is openly revealed or avowed (especially being kept in the background or deliberately concealed)
  • adjective beyond or outside an area of immediate interest; remote
  • adjective coming at a subsequent time or stage


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin, farther, comparative of *ulter, on the other side; see al- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin ulterior, comparative of ulter ("that is beyond").


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  • "In other words, the theoretical, or speculative, sciences differ from the practical sciences in that they are knowledge for its own sake as opposed to knowledge for an ulterior end." - Great Ideas I, p.800

    July 24, 2012