[ tur-muh-neyt ]
See synonyms for: terminateterminatedterminating on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),ter·mi·nat·ed, ter·mi·nat·ing.
  1. to bring to an end; put an end to: to terminate a contract.

  2. to occur at or form the conclusion of: The countess's soliloquy terminates the play.

  1. to bound or limit spatially; form or be situated at the extremity of.

  2. to dismiss from a job; fire: to terminate employees during a recession.

verb (used without object),ter·mi·nat·ed, ter·mi·nat·ing.
  1. to end, conclude, or cease.

  2. (of a train, bus, or other public conveyance) to end a scheduled run at a certain place: This train terminates in New York.

  1. to come to an end (often followed by at, in, or with).

  2. to issue or result (usually followed by in).

Origin of terminate

1580–90; verbal use of late Middle English terminate (adjective) “limited,” from Latin terminātus, past participle of termināre. See term, -ate1

Other words for terminate

Other words from terminate

  • ter·mi·na·tive, adjective
  • ter·mi·na·tive·ly, adverb
  • non·ter·mi·na·tive, adjective
  • non·ter·mi·na·tive·ly, adverb
  • self-ter·mi·nat·ing, adjective
  • self-ter·mi·na·tive, adjective
  • un·ter·mi·nat·ed, adjective
  • un·ter·mi·nat·ing, adjective
  • un·ter·mi·na·tive, adjective

Words Nearby terminate

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

How to use terminate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for terminate


/ (ˈtɜːmɪˌneɪt) /

  1. (when intr, often foll by in or with) to form, be, or put an end (to); conclude: to terminate a pregnancy; their relationship terminated amicably

  2. (tr) to connect (suitable circuitry) to the end of an electrical transmission line to absorb the energy and avoid reflections

  1. (intr) maths (of a decimal expansion) to have only a finite number of digits

  2. (tr) slang to kill (someone)

Origin of terminate

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

Derived forms of terminate

  • terminative, adjective
  • terminatory, adjective

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