Etymology
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penultimate (adj.)

"next to the last, immediately proceeding that member of a series which is the last," 1670s, from penultima (n.) on model of proximate. Earlier was penultim (mid-15c.), from Old French penultime.

updated on March 21, 2020

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Definitions of penultimate from WordNet
1
penultimate (n.)
the next to last syllable in a word;
Synonyms: penult / penultima
2
penultimate (adj.)
second last;
the author inadvertently reveals the murderer in the penultimate chapter
Synonyms: next-to-last
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.