- The definition of ulterior refers to something intentionally hidden, not revealed or below the surface.
If you pretend to be nice to someone only to get close to his famous friends, this is an example of when you have an ulterior motive.
ulterior definition by Webster's New World
- lying beyond or on the farther side
- later, subsequent, or future
- further; more remote; esp., beyond what is expressed, implied, or evident; undisclosed: an ulterior motive
Origin: Classical Latin comparative of an unverified form ulter, beyond, farther (see ultra-)
- ulteriorly adverb
ulterior definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Lying beyond what is evident, revealed, or avowed, especially being concealed intentionally so as to deceive: an ulterior motive.
- Lying beyond or outside the area of immediate interest.
- Occurring later; subsequent.
Origin: Latin, farther, comparative of *ulter, on the other side; see al-1 in Indo-European roots.
- ul·teˈri·or·ly adverb