American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Being last in a series, process, or progression: "As the ultimate arbiter of the Constitution, the Supreme Court occupies a central place in our scheme of government” ( Richard A. Epstein).
- adj. Fundamental; elemental: an ultimate truth.
- adj. Of the greatest possible size or significance; maximum: Has the ultimate diamond been found?
- adj. Representing or exhibiting the greatest possible development or sophistication: the ultimate bicycle.
- adj. Utmost; extreme: the ultimate insult.
- adj. Being most distant or remote; farthest. See Synonyms at last1.
- adj. Eventual: hoped for ultimate victory.
- n. The basic or fundamental fact, element, or principle.
- n. The final point; the conclusion.
- n. The greatest extreme; the maximum: actions that represented the ultimate in political expediency.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In meck., final; ‘breaking'; specifically, noting the strain required to “break a piece of material.
- Furthest; most remote in place.
- Last; the last of a series of three or more members, especially of a series in which an inquiry is traced from one member to another: as, the ultimate signification of a phrase; an ultimate principle; an ultimate fact. Ultimate applies to the last of a series of events in time, as well as to other series. In special cases it is synonymous with final, except that it implies at least two preceding members, which final does not; and this circumstance gives the idea of a climax, and so emphasizes ultimate. But more frequently the series to which ultimate refers is a regressive one, so that it is quite opposed to final. Thus, ultimate cause means the original cause beyond which no causation can be traced; but final cause is the end toward which action is directed.
- In entomology, specifically noting a stage of the second larva, after the third molt, of those insects which undergo hypermetamorphosis, as the blister-beetles (Meloidæ), It succeeds the scarabæidoid stage, and is followed by the coarctate larva.
- Synonyms Eventual, Conclusive, etc. See final.
- To result finally; end.
- adj. Concerning the last or final thing in a series.
- adj. Last in a word or other utterance.
- adj. Being the greatest possible; maximum; most extreme.
- adj. Being the most distant or extreme; farthest.
- adj. That will happen sometime; eventual.
- n. The most basic or fundamental of a set of things
- n. The final or most distant point; the conclusion
- n. The greatest extremity; the maximum
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Chem.) See under Ultimate, Proximate, Qualitative, etc.
- adj. Farthest; most remote in space or time; extreme; last; final.
- adj. Last in a train of progression or consequences; tended toward by all that precedes; arrived at, as the last result; final.
- adj. Incapable of further analysis; incapable of further division or separation; constituent; elemental.
- v. rare To come or bring to an end or issue; to eventuate; to end.
- v. rare To come or bring into use or practice.
- adj. furthest or highest in degree or order; utmost or extreme
- adj. being the last or concluding element of a series
- n. the finest or most superior quality of its kind
- From Medieval Latin ultimatus ("furthest, last"), past participle of Latin ultimare ("to come to an end"), from ultimus ("last, final"); see ultra-. (Wiktionary)
- Latin ultimātus, past participle of ultimāre, to come to an end, from ultimus, last, superlative of *ulter, on the other side; see al-1 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The word ultimate comes from the Latin term latimatus and means “last,” “final,” or “farthest.””
“But he joked that John Ashbery had asked him what the word ultimate meant.”
“The term ultimate was used advisedly, and still stands.”
“Manji discusses relativism versus pluralism to express what she calls the ultimate form of liberty.”
“Everything we do as individuals is determined by who we think we are — or, in the case of school reform, by what we define as our ultimate goals.”
“I appreciate what you describe as your ultimate goal in these discussions: mutual understanding and peace and prosperity for both sides.”
“Still, eating ortolans isnt technically illegal, so English TV personality Jeremy Clarkson ventured to Gascony in 2002 to sample what he called the ultimate French delicacy, the highest of haute cuisine.”
“Now this, what I call the ultimate tropical bliss.”
“The archive reveals that "Ringelblum never succumbed to what he defined as the ultimate despair: the failure to record what one saw.”
“Tonight, President Bush opens up as never before in what he calls the ultimate exit interview.”
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