Definition of culminate in English:



  • 1Reach a climax or point of highest development:

    ‘weeks of violence culminated in the brutal murder of a magistrate’
    • ‘Senescence represents the last stage of flower development, ultimately culminating in the death of the petals.’
    • ‘From there the whirlwind events culminate in the discovery of the killer's identity.’
    • ‘All this, you know if you did Othello in high school, culminates in murder and suicide.’
    • ‘Michelle had a very difficult labour, which eventually culminated in an emergency Caesarian delivery.’
    • ‘All matches will culminate in the finals on Thursday next, December 19.’
    • ‘The deployment phase of the project recently culminated in cross-cultural awareness training assisted by local rangers.’
    • ‘A remarkable clean-up effort culminated last month in the release of brown trout.’
    • ‘You asked for details of the review process culminating in the Home Secretary's decision.’
    • ‘Similar things happened across Europe and it all culminated in the great radicalisation of 1968.’
    • ‘Convocation will culminate on Saturday with the graduation of students from the mathematics and engineering faculties.’
    • ‘The event will culminate in a spectacular finale.’
    • ‘Such thoughts reduce self-esteem which leads to depression and which can finally culminate in suicide.’
    • ‘Their high-profile negative campaign culminated in a march.’
    • ‘The quarter and semi-finals will then be held in London and will culminate in the nail-biting national final.’
    • ‘Today this campaign culminated in a mass rally in London.’
    • ‘The film culminates in an incredibly enjoyable finale, one of the finest of its type.’
    • ‘Every night ended up with the two of them exchanging insults, often culminating with her storming upstairs.’
    • ‘The day finally culminated in going out to a nice restaurant with my friend Linda.’
    • ‘The three legs would culminate in a national final here in December.’
    • ‘Why did it have to culminate in a murder?’
    come to a climax, come to a crescendo, come to a head, reach a finale, peak, climax, reach a pinnacle
    build up to, lead up to
    come to an end with, end with, finish with, conclude with, close with, terminate with
    wind up
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with object] Be the climax or point of highest development of:
      ‘her book culminated a research project on the symmetry studies of Escher’
      • ‘The finding culminates a long process of research and discovery by the team.’
      • ‘It is this collection of seven factors and their supporting details that culminate this research.’
      • ‘Moreover, the moment culminated a number of simmering developments that stemmed from both local and national trends.’
      • ‘The Awards Dinner culminated a weekend of activities.’
      • ‘The camp was culminated on August 28 with a wonderful graduation exercise, attended by parents and families.’
      • ‘The arrests culminated a three-month investigation by crime-reduction officers.’
      • ‘The book culminates years of work by the author and traces the history of the Parish from monastic times to the present day.’
      • ‘The leg-spinner did so in emphatic fashion with the middle dismissal in a stretch of three wickets in four balls which culminated the England innings.’
      • ‘‘I've been out for about a year, so I guess in a way this project culminates my own feelings about it,’ she says.’
  • 2Astrology
    archaic (of a celestial body) reach or be at the meridian:

    ‘the star culminates at midnight on about the 30th April’
    • ‘If a planet culminates, sets or is on the nadir at the same time that a star occupies one of the sacred earth-generated angles, then that star walks with that planet.’
    • ‘Thus if the fixed star Regulus culminates on the Midheaven as Mercury rises on the ascendant it is referred to as a paran of Mercury and considered to have an influence upon its meaning.’
    • ‘During the winter months the Full Moon culminates higher and higher in the sky until it reaches its maximum height throughout the year at the full Moon nearest the winter solstice.’
    • ‘Saturn culminated on the midheaven as Beethoven passed away.’
    • ‘As the Earth rotates on its axis from west to east, it appears from our apparently stationary viewpoint that the stars rise in the east, culminate on the upper meridian and set in the west.’


Mid 17th century (in astronomy and astrology): from late Latin culminat- exalted, from the verb culminare, from culmen summit.