[ tur-muh-neyt ]
/ ˈtɜr məˌneɪt /

verb (used with object), ter·mi·nat·ed, ter·mi·nat·ing.

verb (used without object), ter·mi·nat·ed, ter·mi·nat·ing.

Origin of terminate

1580–90; v. use of late Middle English terminate (adj.) limited < Latin terminātus, past participle of termināre. See term, -ate1

SYNONYMS FOR terminate

Related forms

Can be confused

downsize fire lay off rightsize terminate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for self-terminating


/ (ˈtɜːmɪˌneɪt) /


(when intr, often foll by in or with) to form, be, or put an end (to); concludeto terminate a pregnancy; their relationship terminated amicably
(tr) to connect (suitable circuitry) to the end of an electrical transmission line to absorb the energy and avoid reflections
(intr) maths (of a decimal expansion) to have only a finite number of digits
(tr) slang to kill (someone)

Derived Forms

terminative, adjectiveterminatory, adjective

Word Origin for terminate

C16: from Latin terminātus limited, from termināre to set boundaries, from terminus end
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