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October 8, 2019

Word of the Day: Ultima

2 CQ

Word of the Day : December 28, 2016

ultima \UL-tuh-muh\ noun


: the last syllable of a word


For the last line of her poem, Sheila needed a word with an ultima that rhymed with "green," so she tried "magazine."

"A grave accent can occur only on the ultima." — Rodney J. Decker, Reading Koine Greek, 2015

Did You Know?

In Latin, ultima is the feminine form of the adjective ultimus ("farthest or last"), the superlative form of ulter, meaning "situated beyond." The ultima is the last syllable of a word; the second-to-last syllable in a word is called the penult or penultima (literally, "that which is almost last"); and the third-to-last syllable is called the antepenult or antepenultima ("that which comes before what is almost last"). The related word ultimate, while known to most people as meaning "the best or most extreme of its kind" (as in "surfers finding the ultimate wave"), has an original meaning referring to the last of something in a series.

Aired December 28, 2016

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