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Webster 1913 Edition


Ulterior

Ul-te′ri-or

,
Adj.
[L., comp. of
ultra
,
ultro
, beyond, on the other side, properly cases of an old adjective, formed with a comparative suffix, which is akin to OL.
uls
beyond, L.
olim
formerly, hereafter, orig., at that time,
ille
that, OL.
olle
,
ollus
. Cf.
Outrage
.]
1.
Situated beyond, or on the farther side; thither; – correlative with hither.
2.
Further; remoter; more distant; succeeding;
as,
ulterior
demands or propositions;
ulterior
views; what
ulterior
measures will be adopted is uncertain
.
Ulterior motive
,
Ulterior object
or
Ulterior aim
,
a motive, object or aim beyond that which is avowed.

Ul-te′ri-or

,
Noun.
Ulterior side or part.
[R.]
Coleridge.

Webster 1828 Edition


Ulterior

ULTE'RIOR

,
Adj.
[L. comparative.]
1.
Further; as ulterior demands; ulterior propositions. What ulterior measures will be adopted is uncertain.
2.
In geography, being or situated beyond or on the further side of any line or boundary; opposed to citerior, or hither.

Definition 2021


ulterior

ulterior

English

Adjective

ulterior (not comparable)

  1. Situated beyond, or on the farther side.
  2. Beyond what is obvious or evident.
  3. Being intentionally concealed so as to deceive.
    • 1960, Richard Stanley Peters, “Motives and Motivation”, in The Concept of Motivation (Studies in Philosophical Psychology), 2nd edition, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul; New York, N.Y.: Humanities Press, OCLC 613171051, page 32:
      Motives, of course, may be mixed; but this only means that a man aims at a variety of goals by means of the same course of action. Similarly a man may have a strong motive or a weak one, an ulterior motive or an ostensible one.
  4. (archaic) Happening later; subsequent.
    an ulterior action
    • 1840, M. Lepage, “On the Means of Distinguishing Vegetable Alkalies by Chlorine, and by the Sulpho-cynanide of Potassium”, in Charles Watt and John Watt, Jun., editors, The Chemist; or Reporter of Chemical Discoveries and Improvements, and Protector of the Rights of the Chemist and Chemical Manufacturer, volume I, London: Printed for the proprietors, and sold by R. Hastings, 13, Carey Street, OCLC 7752341, page 141:
      A rather deep red coloration, which appears by the action of the first bubbles of chlorine, but which soon disappears by the ulterior action of this gas: not turbid.

Usage notes

Ulterior is primarily used today to refer to impure, covert, and external motives. In the sense “beyond, farther”, the Latin antonym is propior (nearer), which is not used in English. Instead, proximate and ultimate are respectively used for “nearest” and “farthest” (cause, etc.).

Alternative forms

Antonyms

  • (intentionally concealed to deceive): ostensible
  • (happening later): prior

Derived terms

Related terms


Latin

Etymology

ulter + -ior

Adjective

ulterior (comparative of ulter)

  1. further away

Inflection

Third declension, comparative variant

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masc./Fem. Neuter Masc./Fem. Neuter
nominative ulterior ulterius ulteriōrēs ulteriōra
genitive ulteriōris ulteriōrum
dative ulteriōrī ulteriōribus
accusative ulteriōrem ulterius ulteriōrēs ulteriōra
ablative ulteriōre ulteriōribus
vocative ulterior ulterius ulteriōrēs ulteriōra

Antonyms

Descendants

References


Spanish

Adjective

ulterior m, f (plural ulteriores)

  1. ulterior
  2. later; subsequent

Derived terms