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Idioms about end

Origin of end

First recorded before 900; Middle English, Old English ende; cognate with Old Frisian enda, Middle Dutch e(i)nde, Old Saxon endi, Old High German anti, German Ende, Old Norse endi(r), Gothic andeis “end,” from unattested Germanic anthjá-; akin to Sanskrit ánta- “end”

synonym study for end

5. End, close, conclusion, finish, outcome refer to the termination of something. End implies a natural termination or completion, or an attainment of purpose: the end of a day, of a race; to some good end. Close often implies a planned rounding off of something in process: the close of a conference. Conclusion suggests a decision or arrangement: All evidence leads to this conclusion; the conclusion of peace terms. Finish emphasizes completion of something begun: a fight to the finish. Outcome suggests the issue of something that was in doubt: the outcome of a game. 7. See aim.


ender, noun

Other definitions for end (2 of 4)

[ end ]
/ ɛnd /

verb (used with object) British Dialect.
to put wheat, hay, or other grain into a stack or barn.

Origin of end

First recorded in 1610–20; perhaps variant of dialect in “to harvest,” from Old English innian “to lodge, put up”; see inn

Other definitions for end (3 of 4)


variant of endo- before a vowel: endameba.

Other definitions for end (4 of 4)


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a basic definition of end?

An end is a conclusion or a last part of a long object. To end is to cease. The word end has many other senses as a verb, noun, and adjective and is used in several idioms.

End is a very general word that means a conclusion or a part that is near the conclusion. For example, the end of the summer is the exact moment that it stops being summer, while the end of a movie is the last scene or even the last act. End is often used figuratively to mean death, which is the end of a person’s life.

  • Real-life examples: The end of World War II occurred in 1945. The credits usually happen at the end of a movie. Sunset signals the end of daytime.
  • Used in a sentence: I liked the beginning of the book, but it got boring near the end. 

In a similar sense, end is used as a verb to mean to cease or to stop permanently or put a stop to something.

  • Real-life examples: You can end a fight by walking away. A class often ends when the bell rings. Sometimes, though, the teacher ends the class early and lets all the students leave.
  • Used in a sentence: The song was just getting good when it suddenly ended.  

As a noun, end can also mean a last part of something. This sense is used to describe objects that are longer than they are wide. For example, a pencil has an eraser on one end and graphite to write with at the other end.

  • Real-life examples: Most power cables have one end that plugs into an electronic device and another end that plugs into the wall. You usually walk across a hallway from one end to the other. A soccer field has goals at each end.
  • Used in a sentence: Always point the sharp end of the scissors away from people when you carry them.

Where does end come from?

The first records of end come from before the 900s. It comes from the Old English ende and is related to many other words with the same meaning, including the Old Norse endir, the Gothic andeis, and the Old High German anti.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to end?

  • ender (noun)
  • ending (noun, present tense verb)
  • endless (adjective)
  • endlessly (adverb)
  • unending (adjective)

What are some synonyms for end?

What are some words that share a root or word element with end

What are some words that often get used in discussing end?

How is end used in real life?

End is a very common word that most often means a finish or to conclude something.

Try using end!

Is end used correctly in the following sentence?

I like to eat dessert at the end of a meal so that the meal finishes on a sweet note.

How to use end in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for end (1 of 4)

/ (ɛnd) /

See also end up

Derived forms of end

ender, noun

Word Origin for end

Old English ende; related to Old Norse endir, Gothic andeis, Old High German endi, Latin antiae forelocks, Sanskrit antya last

British Dictionary definitions for end (2 of 4)

/ (ɛnd) /

(tr) British to put (hay or grain) into a barn or stack

Word Origin for end

Old English innian; related to Old High German innōn; see inn

British Dictionary definitions for end (3 of 4)


combining form
a variant of endo-

British Dictionary definitions for end (4 of 4)


suffix forming nouns
See -and
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with end


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.