1650s, from Late Latin ultimatus, past participle of ultimare "to be final, come to an end," from Latin ultimus (fem. ultima) "last, final, farthest, most distant, extreme," superlative of *ulter "beyond" (from suffixed form of PIE root *al- "beyond"). As a noun from 1680s. Ultimate Frisbee is attested by 1972.
Sense of "characterized by a high degree of intellect" is from 1819. Meaning "appealing to or engaging the mental powers" is from 1834. Intellectual property "products of the intellect" is attested from 1845. Adjective formations in the sense "of or pertaining to the intellect" included intellective (early 15c.), intellectile (1670s).