[ en-ding ]
/ ˈɛn dɪŋ /
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a bringing or coming to an end; termination; close: Putting away the Christmas ornaments marked the ending of the season.
the final or concluding part; conclusion: a story with a happy ending.
death; destruction.
Grammar. a morpheme, especially an inflection, at the end of a word, as -s in cuts.
(not in technical use) any final word part, as the -ow of widow.
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Origin of ending

before 1000; Middle English endyng,Old English endung.See end1, -ing1


un·end·ing, adjectiveun·end·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is an ending?

An ending is a conclusion, as in I like stories with a happy ending.

An ending is also a time when something is finishing or nearing completion, as in I’m ending my school career with all As. 

An ending is the opposite of a beginning and is used to mean the conclusion of something. Movies have endings. So do civilizations, like the Roman Empire. We even sometimes refer to a person’s death as an ending. Endings and the reasons or events surrounding them are often intensely studied or debated.

Example: I liked the book until the terrible ending where the villain won in the last chapter.

Where does ending come from?

The first records of the term ending come from before the year 1000. It ultimately comes from the Old English endung. Ending combines the verb end, meaning “to finalize or complete,” and the suffix -ing, which turns a verb into a noun that expresses action. An ending is the point at which something is performing a last action or when something is reaching its finish.

Ending is the final moments or period of time when something is finishing. For example, the last inning of a baseball game is the game’s ending. An ending can be long or short. It is sometimes unclear when an ending begins, such as with empires or kingdoms that last hundreds or thousands of years.

Ending is sometimes used to mean “end,” but the two words mean slightly different things. Typically, an end is the exact point at which something is over, while an ending can be a longer period of time during which something is concluding.

For example, when someone says “the end of a book” they usually mean the final chapter or final paragraph. However, the ending of a book could mean several chapters, depending on how long the conclusion takes.

This is the reason that we say “the end of the road” when we mean the point where the road stops.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to ending?

  • unending (adjective)
  • unendingly (adverb)

What are some synonyms for ending?

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


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

What are some words ending may be commonly confused with?

How is ending used in real life?

Ending is an extremely common word that refers to the time that something is concluding or finishing.



Try using ending!

Which of the following is most likely to contain the ending of a novel?

A. the first chapter
B. the middle chapters
C. the last chapter

How to use ending in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ending

/ (ˈɛndɪŋ) /

the act of bringing to or reaching an end
the last part of something, as a book, film, etc
the final part of a word, esp a suffix
chess another word for endgame
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