Definition of ultra in US English:



  • 1An extremist.

    • ‘When liberals in Spain overthrew their king, the ultras pressed the reluctant government for action.’
    • ‘The latter provision would be used by loyalist ultras to demand that the RUC remove the Irish Tricolour even when it was being displayed in a predominantly nationalist area.’
    • ‘Gandhi said the state government did not release the ultras unilaterally but with the approval of the country's intelligence agencies, according to a Press Trust of India report.’
    • ‘He said for long-lasting peace the ultras should come forward for a dialogue and that the government is also trying to explore different strategies in this regard.’
    • ‘The ultras have been known to appropriate the Nazi font when spelling the ‘S.S.’’
    • ‘It was clear that de Gaulle, anxious to strike before the United Nations voted on independence for Algeria, favoured the third option, and equally clear that ultras in the army and the pieds-noirs would not budge from the second.’
    • ‘They know that down in the Bogside or along the Shankill Road there are bound to be ultras who will indignantly denounce any compromise deal as treason.’
    extremist, radical, fanatic, zealot, diehard, revolutionary, rebel, militant, subversive
    View synonyms
  • 2

    ‘the best way to tackle an ultra is to divide the race into manageable chunks’
    short for ultramarathon
    • ‘Despite the longer distances, ultras may actually be easier on the body than running a road marathon.’
    • ‘She graduated to the 50-mile Nifty 50 Ultra in Coventry, R.I., and in 1997 did a 100-mile endurance run along mountainous trails in Vermont.’
    • ‘I thought I would be a natural for ultras.’
    • ‘The Yukon Arctic Ultra follows the Yukon Quest Trail and the distances for this event include a marathon, 100 miles, 300 miles and 460 miles.’
    • ‘For longtime runners who have competed in and finished several marathons, an ultra is an enticing challenge.’
    • ‘I'd been thinking about doing an ultra for several years.’
    • ‘One of the major hurdles to leap, in training for ultras (even marathons), is getting in sufficient training distances to fully prepare, without "destroying" your knees, hips, ankles, feet and lower back.’
    • ‘He is the first amputee to finish the Great Sahara Run and the Badwater 135 mile Death Valley Ultra (5 marathons back to back), which takes place in temperatures close to those recommended for slow cooking chicken.’


  • as submodifier Very; extremely.

    ‘the play was not just boring, it was ultra boring’
    • ‘I made an ultra cool video learning tutorial.’
    • ‘One of the game's bonus attributes is the motion captured animation which provides lifelike movement and an ultra real tennis experience.’
    • ‘He makes an ultra cool villain.’
    • ‘The mansion is ultra ritzy.’
    • ‘It's great having an ultra fast video card, but if your games look nasty, why bother?’
    • ‘The vase itself is of an ultra simple design.’
    • ‘That clean white shirt tucked into black pants look is ultra chic here.’
    • ‘This motor is ultra quiet and since it is "brushless", it also lasts very well.’
    • ‘His vision for the new offices involved "an ultra modern, clinical and open-plan design".’
    • ‘The artwork itself is ultra detailed.’


Early 19th century: an independent usage of ultra-, originally as an abbreviation of French ultra-royaliste ‘ultra-royalist’.