ulterior adjective1 a : lying farther away : more remoteb : situated on the farther side 2 : going beyond what is openly said or shown
“While their campaign does shedlight on an important issue, theirgood intentions are undercut by theirulterior motive, which is to make a profit.” — Robert Lees, The Highlander (University of California-Riverside), February 10, 2015
“Dreyer describes Seuss‘s personalcollection of paintings and sculpturesas ‘secret art.’ Geisel literally keptthem in the closet … and his widow, Audrey Geisel, has never sold an original Seuss. She authorized high-quality lithograph prints so the publiccan see the ulterior side of her latehusband.” — Alexandria (Virginia) Times, December 6, 2011
Did you know?
Although now usually hitched to the front of the noun motive to refer to a hidden need or desire that inspiresaction, ulterior began its career as an adjective in the mid-17th centurydescribing something occurring at a subsequent time. By the early 18thcentury it was being used to meanboth “more distant” (literally and figuratively) and “situated on the farther side.” The “hidden” sense withwhich we’re most familiar todayfollowed quickly after those, with the word modifying nouns like purpose, design, and consequence. Ulteriorcomes directly from the Latin wordfor “farther” or “further,” itselfassumed to be the comparative formof ulter, meaning “situated beyond.”