1. Lying beyond what is evident, revealed, or avowed, especially being concealed intentionally so as to deceive: an ulterior motive.
2. Lying beyond or outside the area of immediate interest.
3. Occurring later; subsequent.
[Latin, farther, comparative of *ulter, on the other side; see al-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.