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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



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)

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


noun climax, conclusion, completion, finale, consummation This week's events are the culmination of a long-running row between the two countries.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. The highest point or state:
Informal: payoff.
Medicine: fastigium.
2. The condition of being fulfilled:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˌkʌlmɪˈneɪʃən] n (= high point) → point m culminant (= result, outcome) → résultat m
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


n (Astron) → Kulminationspunkt m, → Höchst-/Tiefststand m; (fig) (= high point: of career etc) → Höhepunkt m; (= end)Ende nt, → Ausgang m
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˌkʌlmɪˈneɪʃn] nculmine m (Astron) → culminazione f
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(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
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
For a time, which seemed so long that the world grew gray with age and sin, and the haunted forest, having fulfilled its purpose in this monstrous culmination of its terrors, vanished out of his consciousness with all its sights and sounds, the apparition stood within a pace, regarding him with the mindless malevolence of a wild brute; then thrust its hands forward and sprang upon him with appalling ferocity!
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.
Capitalism was adjudged by the sociologists of the time to be the culmination of bourgeois rule, the ripened fruit of the bourgeois revolution.
Browning's works, the culmination of his dramatic method, and the turning-point more decisively than Dramatis Personae of his style.
I noted them walking the deck together one morning, and I likened them to the extreme ends of the human ladder of evolution--the one the culmination of all savagery, the other the finished product of the finest civilization.
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. High above his head he was suddenly conscious of a downward current of air.
The affair was all but over and leaping to its culmination when Collins arrived.
Those are the antecedents, and the culmination. Josiah Bounderby of Coketown learnt his letters from the outsides of the shops, Mrs.
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.
The hand continued slowly to descend, while he crouched beneath it, eyeing it malignantly, his snarl growing shorter and shorter as, with quickening breath, it approached its culmination. Suddenly he snapped, striking with his fangs like a snake.