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ul·ti·mate (ŭltə-mĭt)
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adj.
1.
a. 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). See Synonyms at last1.
b. Eventual: hoped for ultimate victory.
2. Fundamental; elemental: an ultimate truth.
3.
a. Of the greatest possible size or significance; maximum: the ultimate act of courage.
b. Representing or exhibiting the greatest possible development or sophistication: the ultimate bicycle.
c. Utmost; extreme: the ultimate insult.
n.
1. The greatest extreme; the maximum: actions that represented the ultimate in political expediency.
2. also Ultimate A game played on a field by two teams of seven players each, the object being to gain possession of a flying disc by catching it and throwing it to a teammate, advancing the disc down the field until it is caught in the opponent's end zone. Players cannot run while holding the disc, and the game is self-officiated.

[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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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