Ulterior definition

ŭl-tîrē-ər
Lying beyond what is evident, revealed, or avowed, especially being concealed intentionally so as to deceive.

An ulterior motive.

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Lying beyond or outside the area of immediate interest.
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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.

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Occurring later; subsequent.
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Lying beyond or on the farther side.
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Later, subsequent, or future.
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Further; more remote; esp., beyond what is expressed, implied, or evident; undisclosed.

An ulterior motive.

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Situated beyond, or on the farther side.
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Beyond what is obvious or evident.
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An ulterior action.

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Origin of ulterior

  • Latin farther comparative of *ulter on the other side al-1 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Latin ulterior, comparative of ulter (“that is beyond").

    From Wiktionary