- The definition of an ultimatum is a demand which, if not met, will end a relationship or otherwise result in some serious consequence.
When a woman says to her boyfriend "marry me or I am leaving you," this is an example of an ultimatum.
ultimatum definition by Webster's New World
Origin: Modern Latin ; from Late Latin neuter of ultimatus: see ultimate
ultimatum definition by American Heritage Dictionary
noun pl. ul·ti·ma·tums or ul·ti·ma·ta
- A final statement of terms made by one party to another.
- A statement, especially in diplomatic negotiations, that expresses or implies the threat of serious penalties if the terms are not accepted.
Origin: New Latin, from neuter of Latin ultimātus, last; see ultimate.
ultimatum - Cultural Definition
A formal message delivered from one government to another threatening war if the receiving government fails to comply with conditions set forth in the message. For example, after the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand in 1914, the government of Austria sent an ultimatum to Serbia, which Austria held responsible for the assassination.
ultimatum - Legal Definition