Ultimatum


Ultimatum

An ultimatum ( _la. the last one) is a demand whose fulfillment is requested in a specified period of time and which is backed up by a threat to be followed through in case of noncompliance. An ultimatum is generally the final demand in a series of requests. As such, the time allotted is usually short, and the request is understood not to be open to further negotiation.

The threat which backs up the ultimatum can vary depending on the demand in question and on the other circumstances. The following are commonly encountered:

* in diplomacy, the threat to declare war, to take other military action or to impose sanctions such as trade restrictions or embargoes.
* in a kidnapping, the threat by the kidnappers that they will kill the hostages if their demands are not met

In everyday life, ultimatums are also sometimes made in various contexts, such as in:
* a legal proceeding (e.g. the demand to strike a plea bargain or face a trial)
* a business relationship (e.g. the demand to accept a certain price or to forgo the deal)
* a labor dispute (e.g. the demand to grant a hike in salaries or another improvement in the employees' conditions, or face a strike)
* a personal relationship (e.g. the demand to desist in an extramarital affair or to face a divorce).Such ultimatums may or may not be legal and/or socially acceptable. Ultimatums are also a regular part of the crime of extortion.


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  • ultimatum — [ yltimatɔm ] n. m. • 1792; « décision irrévocable » 1740; lat. médiév. ultimatus, de ultimus « dernier » ♦ Les dernières conditions présentées par un État à un autre et comportant une sommation. Adresser, envoyer, lancer un ultimatum. « L… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • ultimatum — ULTIMÁTUM, ultimaturi, s.n. Comunicare cuprinzând condiţiile irevocabile pe care o putere, un stat, un împuternicit le pune altuia în vederea rezolvării unei situaţii litigioase (litigios) de care depind relaţiile lor reciproce. [var.: (înv.)… …   Dicționar Român

  • Ultimatum — Sn Zeitpunkt für eine endgültige Entscheidung erw. fach. (18. Jh.) Entlehnung. Neubildung zu l. ultimus letzter, äußerster , dem Superlativ von ultrā jenseits, darüber hinaus (ultra ), zu l. ulter jenseitig, drüben befindlich . Adjektiv:… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • ultimatum — UK US /ˌʌltɪˈmeɪtəm/ noun [C] ► a warning, usually the last and most threatening one in a series, in which someone is told that if they take a particular action, something unpleasant will happen to them: issue/deliver/give an ultimatum »The… …   Financial and business terms

  • ultimatum — (n.) 1731, from Modern Latin, from Medieval Latin adjective ultimatum last possible, final, from L. ultimatum, neuter of ultimatus (see ULTIMATE (Cf. ultimate)). Hamilton and others use the Latin plural ultimata. In slang c.1820s, ultimatum was… …   Etymology dictionary

  • ultimatum — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 8}}rz. n, ndm {{/stl 8}}{{stl 20}} {{/stl 20}}{{stl 12}}1. {{/stl 12}}{{stl 7}} żądanie, oświadczenie z podanymi warunkami, wystosowane przez rząd jednego państwa, do rządu innego państwa, w którym pod groźbą użycia siły,… …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

  • ultimatum — I noun condition, demand, exaction, extrema condicio, final condition, final offer, final proposal, final proposition, last offer, notice, proposition, provision, proviso, requirement, requisite, specification, stipulation, threat, warning II… …   Law dictionary

  • Ultimatum — »letzte, äußerste Aufforderung (zur befriedigenden Lösung einer schwebenden Angelegenheit innerhalb einer bestimmten Frist)«: Das seit dem 18. Jh. gebräuchliche Fremdwort ist eine gelehrte Entlehnung der Diplomatensprache aus gleichbed. mlat.… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • ultimátum — (Del lat. ultimātum, t. n. de tus). 1. m. En el lenguaje diplomático, resolución terminante y definitiva, comunicada por escrito. 2. coloq. Resolución definitiva …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • ultimatum — [ul΄tə māt′əm] n. pl. ultimatums or ultimata [ul΄tə māt′ə] [ModL < LL, neut. of ultimatus: see ULTIMATE] a final offer or demand, esp. by one of the parties engaged in negotiations, the rejection of which usually leads to a break in relations… …   English World dictionary


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