Definition of ultimatum in English:

ultimatum

noun

  • A final demand or statement of terms, the rejection of which will result in retaliation or a breakdown in relations.

    ‘their employers issued an ultimatum demanding an immediate return to work’
    • ‘He reacted by demanding that he should not be confronted with an ultimatum.’
    • ‘Whether true or not, the story was quickly seized upon to issue its ultimatum.’
    • ‘Instead, he issued an ultimatum to the people who are suffering under this occupation.’
    • ‘Although she rejected the ultimatum, she is clearly on the defensive.’
    • ‘The editorial amounts to an ultimatum to carry out the bidding of the extreme right.’
    • ‘In recent years he has repeatedly issued ultimatums demanding that area plants become more profitable.’
    • ‘The teachers resigned in protest at a government ultimatum that they either return to their jobs or be sacked.’
    • ‘He linked the ultimatum directly to the needs of international investors.’
    • ‘Every attempt to accommodate to the demands has been met by new ultimatums.’
    • ‘A mass meeting in Dundee faced down an ultimatum from council bosses.’
    • ‘On February 21 the council gave him an ultimatum of resigning or being sacked.’
    • ‘At issue was an ultimatum issued for a crackdown on the privatization of health care.’
    • ‘As the film itself points out, they had virtually issued an ultimatum to this country with its oil embargo.’
    • ‘These moves fulfill an ultimatum made to last term's Union President.’
    • ‘The workers were sacked a week later because they ignored an ultimatum ordering them back to work.’
    • ‘Three days later, Coop management locked out workers following an ultimatum to accept the contract.’
    • ‘Union officers are defying the council ultimatum and continuing the jobs they were elected to.’
    • ‘This should be an ultimatum - accept new terms and conditions or think about an alternative career.’
    • ‘He accepted an improved offer, which they got after facing down an ultimatum from the council.’
    • ‘Their modus operandi of presenting ultimatums while refusing to negotiate can only mean that this administration is not seriously interested in obtaining compliance.’
    order, command, decree, edict, rule, ruling, ordinance, dictum, directive, direction, instruction, pronouncement, mandate, requirement, stipulation, injunction, demand, exhortation
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Origin

Mid 18th century: from Latin, neuter past participle of ultimare ‘come to an end’.

Pronunciation

ultimatum

/ʌltɪˈmeɪtəm/