AskDefine | Define culminate

Dictionary Definition



1 end, especially to reach a final or climactic stage; "The meeting culminated in a tearful embrace" [syn: climax]
2 bring to a head or to the highest point; "Seurat culminated pointillism"
3 reach the highest or most decisive point
4 of a celestial body: reach its highest altitude or the meridian
5 rise to, or form, a summit; "The helmet culminated in a crest"

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. To reach the highest point; to build up to a climax.
    Their messy breakup culminated in a restraining order.
    New York Times After that, paths diverge. Mr. Bush has been marking the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11 with a series of speeches about terrorism that culminated with his televised address last night.
  2. terminate; to end or finish, especially in a climactic manner
    The class will culminate with a rigorous examination.
  3. To bring to a conclusion, especially a decisive one.
    The obstacle course culminates in the vaunted Leap of Death.


to reach the highest point
to end or finish
  • Finnish: huipentua
to bring to a conclusion
  • Finnish: huipentua


Verb form

  1. second person plural present tense of culminare
  2. second person plural imperative of culminare

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

button up, cap, carry to completion, clean up, climax, close out, close up, complete, conclude, consummate, crest, crown, develop, do to perfection, end, finalize, finish, finish off, finish up, frost, get done, get it over, get through, get through with, head, ice, improve, mature, mop up, outtop, overarch, overtop, peak, perfect, ripen, round out, surmount, terminate, tip, top, top off, top out, wind up, wrap up
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