- when intr, usually followed by in: to end or cause to end, esp to reach or bring to a final or climactic stage
- (intransitive) (of a celestial body) to cross the meridian of the observer
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
- to reach the highest development:His career culminated in the winning of the Nobel prize.
- to arrive at a final stage after a long development:Their disagreement culminated in a quarrel.
- to reach the highest point, summit, or highest development (usually fol. by in).
- to end or arrive at a final stage (usually fol. by in):The argument culminated in a fistfight.
- to rise to or form an apex;
terminate (usually fol. by in):The tower culminates in a tall spire.
- Astronomy(of a celestial body) to be on the meridian, or reach the highest or the lowest altitude.
- to bring to a close;
climax:A rock song culminates the performance.
- Late Latin culminātus (past participle of culmināre to come to a peak), equivalent. to Latin culmin- (stem of culmen) peak, top + -ātus -ate1