ul-ti-mate / ŭl-tə-mĭt
1. farthest, most remote
It was quite late in the evening before the party descended to the ultimate skirts of the snow.
From “The Adventures of Captain Bonneville, U.S. A. in the Rocky Mountains and the Far West” by Washington Irving, 1783 – 1859
2. final, last in a series of occurrences
Capture of the adverse King is the ultimate but not the first object of the game [of chess].
Wilhelm Steinitz, 1836 – 1900
3. occurring at some time in the future, eventual
No one can cheat you out of ultimate success but yourself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803 – 1882
4. basic, fundamental
Compassion, forgiveness, these are the real, ultimate sources of power for peace and success in life.
Tenzin Gyatso, 1935 –
5. supreme; greatest
Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality.
Martin Luther King, Jr., 1929 – 1968
1. that which is the greatest or most significant of its kind
Taking money from job creating entrepreneurs and giving it to ever-failing government programs has to be the ultimate in economic illiteracy.
Ultimately from the Latin superlative adjective ultimus, ultima, ultimum (farthest, last) through the Late Latin past participle ultimatus, ultimata, ultimatum of the same meaning.
Thank you to Allen Ward for providing this etymology.