Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
cul•mi•na•tion(ˌkʌl məˈneɪ ʃən)
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)
|Noun||1.||culmination - a final climactic stage; "their achievements stand as a culmination of centuries of development"|
|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"
|4.||culmination - a concluding action |
consummation - the act of bringing to completion or fruition
consummation - the completion of marriage by sexual intercourse
finishing, finish - the act of finishing; "his best finish in a major tournament was third"; "the speaker's finishing was greeted with applause"
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