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v. cul·mi·nat·ed, cul·mi·nat·ing, cul·mi·nates
a. To reach the highest point or degree; climax: habitual antagonism that culminated in open hostility.
b. To come to completion; end: Years of waiting culminated in a tearful reunion.
2. Astronomy To reach the highest point above an observer's horizon. Used of stars and other celestial bodies.
To bring to the point of greatest intensity or to completion; climax: The ceremony culminated a long week of preparation.

[Late Latin culmināre, culmināt-, from Latin culmen, culmin-, summit; see kel- in Indo-European roots.]

cul′mi·na′tion n.


1. the final, highest, or decisive point
2. the act of culminating
3. (Astronomy) astronomy the highest or lowest altitude attained by a heavenly body as it crosses the meridian


(ˌkʌl məˈneɪ ʃən)

1. the act of culminating.
2. that in which anything culminates; highest point.
3. the position of a celestial body when it is on the meridian.
[1625–35; < Medieval Latin]



last hurrah A final moment of glory or triumph; a last fling; a swan song. This expression refers to hurrah ‘hubbub, commotion, fanfare’ and was popularized by Edwin O’Connor’s novel, The Last Hurrah (1956), which dealt with a big-city political boss apparently modeled after James M. Curley, long-time mayor of Boston.

the straw that broke the camel’s back The last in a series of cumulative irritations, unpleasant tasks, responsibilities, or remarks, especially a seemingly minor one that pushes a person’s patience and endurance beyond their limits; a final setback, one which demoralizes someone or destroys an enterprise or other matter. The camel, a beast of burden, stubbornly refuses to move if given too heavy a load to bear. Although a single straw on a camel’s back has an insignificant weight, many straws can produce a burden which may be too heavy to bear, figuratively breaking the camel’s back. By implication, then, a person subjected to one too many misfortunes or vexations may be pushed beyond his limits and respond suddenly and explosively in a manner which seems disproportionate to the provocation. This expression has several variations, the most common of which is the last straw.

swan song The last work, words, or accomplishment of a person or group of persons, especially of a poet, writer, or musician; a final gesture, such as that of a politician or other public figure before retirement or death. This common expression is based on the ancient belief (cited by Aristotle, Plato, Euripides, Cicero, and others) that swans sing their most beautiful songs just before they die.

Will you not allow that I have as much of the spirit of prophecy in me as the swans? For they, when they perceive that they must die, having sung all their life long, do then sing more lustily than ever, rejoicing in the thought that they are going to the god they serve. (Plato, Dialogues, circa 360 B.C.)

Although the song of a swan is actually somewhat unpleasant to the ear, and no evidence has ever supported the theory that its final song is unusually beautiful, the legend has persisted for centuries and has been incorporated into the works of Shakespeare, Byron, Chaucer, and many other literary masters.

The Phoenix soars aloft, … or, as now, she sinks, and with spheral swan song, immolates herself in flame. (Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus, 1831)

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.culmination - a final climactic stageculmination - a final climactic stage; "their achievements stand as a culmination of centuries of development"
phase, stage - any distinct time period in a sequence of events; "we are in a transitional stage in which many former ideas must be revised or rejected"
2.culmination - (astronomy) a heavenly body's highest celestial point above an observer's horizon
astronomy, uranology - the branch of physics that studies celestial bodies and the universe as a whole
celestial point - a point in the heavens (on the celestial sphere)
3.culmination - the decisive moment in a novel or play; "the deathbed scene is the climax of the play"
story - a piece of fiction that narrates a chain of related events; "he writes stories for the magazines"
moment, instant, minute, second - a particular point in time; "the moment he arrived the party began"
4.culmination - a concluding actionculmination - a concluding action      
consummation - the act of bringing to completion or fruition
consummation - the completion of marriage by sexual intercourse
ending, termination, conclusion - the act of ending something; "the termination of the agreement"
finishing, finish - the act of finishing; "his best finish in a major tournament was third"; "the speaker's finishing was greeted with applause"
finalisation, finalization - the act of finalizing
follow-through - carrying some project or intention to full completion; "I appreciated his follow-through on his promise"
follow-through - the act of carrying a stroke to its natural completion; "his follow-through was straight down the line toward the target"; "squash can be dangerous if your opponent has a long follow-through"
graduation - the successful completion of a program of study


noun climax, conclusion, completion, finale, consummation This week's events are the culmination of a long-running row between the two countries.


1. The highest point or state:
Informal: payoff.
Medicine: fastigium.
2. The condition of being fulfilled:
ذُرْوَه، أوْج
doruk noktasına varma


[ˌkʌlmɪˈneɪʃən] Nculminación f, punto m culminante
it is the culmination of a great deal of effortes la culminación de grandes esfuerzos


[ˌkʌlmɪˈneɪʃən] n (= high point) → point m culminant (= result, outcome) → résultat m


n (Astron) → Kulminationspunkt m, → Höchst-/Tiefststand m; (fig) (= high point: of career etc) → Höhepunkt m; (= end)Ende nt, → Ausgang m


[ˌkʌlmɪˈneɪʃn] nculmine m (Astron) → culminazione f


(ˈkalmineit) verb
(with in) to reach the highest or most important point. The celebrations culminated in a firework display in the local park.
ˌculmiˈnation noun
References in classic literature ?
It was so feeble and inconsistent a culmination to the beautiful scenery they had passed through, so hopeless and imbecile a conclusion to the preparation of that long picturesque journey, with its glimpses of sylvan and pastoral glades and canyons, that, as the coach swept down the last incline, and the remorseless monotony of the dead level spread out before them, furrowed by ditches and indented by pits, under cover of shielding their cheeks from the impalpable dust that rose beneath the plunging wheels, they buried their faces in their handkerchiefs, to hide a few half-hysterical tears.
It was clear that his outbreak by the family fireside had been but the culmination of a long course of brooding and studying on the question.
But then the conductor locks you in when the train starts; there is no water to drink in the car; there is no heating apparatus for night travel; if a drunken rowdy should get in, you could not remove a matter of twenty seats from him or enter another car; but above all, if you are worn out and must sleep, you must sit up and do it in naps, with cramped legs and in a torturing misery that leaves you withered and lifeless the next day--for behold they have not that culmination of all charity and human kindness, a sleeping car, in all France.
As she ran her needle in and out of the wool, she thought of the various stages in her own life which made her present position seem the culmination of successive miracles.
Browning's works, the culmination of his dramatic method, and the turning-point more decisively than Dramatis Personae of his style.
In the eyes of the latter shone a strange gleam--it was the wild light of insanity that the sudden nervous shock of the attack had brought to a premature culmination.
The event of to-day he knew to be the culmination of a success as rapid as it had been surprising.
Then came what seemed to him to be its culmination.
But you haven't answered my questions," she reproached him, as she emerged, rosy and radiant, from the embrace that had accompanied the culmination of his narrative.
After a time, learning that if he persisted, she would settle the situation by gathering him into her arms and gurgling into his ears, he made it a point to act his part until such delectable surrender and joyful culmination were achieved.
The affair was all but over and leaping to its culmination when Collins arrived.
But the situation on the Pyrenees was reaching a culmination.