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

Origin

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

Pronunciation

ultimatum

/ˌəltəˈmādəm//ˌəltəˈmeɪdəm/