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

  • intransitive v. To reach the highest point or degree; climax: habitual antagonism that culminated in open hostility.
  • intransitive v. To come to completion; end: Years of waiting culminated in a tearful reunion.
  • intransitive v. Astronomy To reach the highest point above an observer's horizon. Used of stars and other celestial bodies.
  • transitive v. To bring to the point of greatest intensity or to completion; climax: The ceremony culminated a long week of preparation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Of a heavenly body, to be at the highest point, reach its greatest altitude.
  • v. To reach the (physical) summit, highest point, peak etc.
  • v. To reach a climax; to come to the decisive point (especially as an end or conclusion).
  • v. To finalize, bring to a conclusion, form the climax of.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Growing upward, as distinguished from a lateral growth; -- applied to the growth of corals.
  • intransitive v. To reach its highest point of altitude; to come to the meridian; to be vertical or directly overhead.
  • intransitive v. To reach the highest point, as of rank, size, power, numbers, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To come to or be on the meridian; be in the highest point of altitude, as a star, or, according to the usage of astronomers, reach either the highest or the lowest altitude.
  • To reach the highest point, apex, or summit, literally or figuratively.
  • n. Growing upward, as distinguished from a lateral growth: applied to the growth of corals.

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

  • v. bring to a head or to the highest point
  • v. rise to, or form, a summit
  • v. reach the highest or most decisive point
  • v. end, especially to reach a final or climactic stage
  • v. reach the highest altitude or the meridian, of a celestial body


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

Late Latin culmināre, culmināt-, from Latin culmen, culmin-, summit; see kel-2 in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Recorded since 1647, from Medieval Latin culminatus, the past participle of culminare ("to crown"), from Latin culmen ("peak, the highest point"), older form columen ("top, summit"), from a Proto-Indo-European base *kel- "to project".


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  • Stalls for the thirty-eight-member choir face the congregation, and vaulted ceilings culminate in a magnificent triangular stained glass window—the only artwork in sight.

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  • By the way, I'm delighted that similar public-engagement strategies will be broadly leveraged during the USA Science & Engineering Festival, which will culminate October 23-24 with an expo on the National Mall.

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  • "The whole thing will culminate in New York," Ms. McGregor said.

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  • "Deal flow has returned since July ... and most of the deals will culminate into orders in October-February," HCL Technologies Chief Executive Vineet Nayar told reporters at a news conference.

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  • Pyongyang was in a festive mood as North Korea marked the anniversary of the founding of the ruling party with a weekend of celebrations that will culminate in a massive military parade Sunday.

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  • But the storyline he's a part of will apparently culminate with Hart facing Vince McMahon in a "street fight" at WrestleMania in March.

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  • Either this or it may culminate with a qualitatively new form of confrontation.

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  • He seemed to know the precise time required for the turn to culminate in disaster, and in the meantime he utilized the false footing itself for the momentary earth-contact necessary to carry him on into safety.

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  • SPRING SNAPSHOT: The Ragin 'Cajuns begin practice on March 3, and spring drills will culminate with the spring game on March 27.

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  • reach the highest or most decisive point

    Beethoven's musical genius culminated in the 9th Symphony, which many consider his greatest work.

    October 15, 2016