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Definition of "ultimate" [ul•ti•mate]

  • 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). (adjective)
  • Fundamental; elemental: an ultimate truth. (adjective)
  • Of the greatest possible size or significance; maximum: Has the ultimate diamond been found? (adjective)
  • Representing or exhibiting the greatest possible development or sophistication: the ultimate bicycle. (adjective)
  • Utmost; extreme: the ultimate insult. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "ultimate" in a sentence
  • "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."