the one next to the last; specif., the next-to-the-last syllable in a word
Origin of penultClassical Latin paenultima from paene, almost (see passion) + ultima, feminine of ultimus, last: see ultimate
- The next to the last item in a series.
- The next to the last syllable in a word.
Origin of penultShort for penultima from Latin paenultima feminine of paenultimus next to last paene almost ultimus last ; see ultimate .
- The next-to-last syllable of a word.
- The next to the last in a series.
From penultimate (“next to last"), by shortening