[ tur-muh-ney-shuhn ]
/ ˌtɜr məˈneɪ ʃən /
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Origin of termination

1400–50; late Middle English terminacion<Latin terminātiōn- (stem of terminātiō) decision. See terminate, -ion

OTHER WORDS FROM termination

ter·mi·na·tion·al, adjectivenon·ter·mi·na·tion, nounun·ter·mi·na·tion·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does termination mean?

Termination is the act of bringing something to an end or the physical end of something.

Termination is the noun form of the verb terminate, meaning to bring an end to. It also means to fire someone from a job, and termination is perhaps most commonly used as a way to refer to this process or its result, as in His employment with the company ended in termination. 

Example: The termination of the program last year hurt the many people who relied on its benefits.

Where does termination come from?

The first records of termination come from around the 1400s. It ultimately derives from the Latin verb termināre, meaning “to set boundaries,” from terminus, meaning “end” (the word terminus is also used in English to mean “end”).

The verb terminate can sound quite deadly, probably due at least in part to the Terminator series of movies featuring time-traveling, killer robots (who always manage to travel just not far enough back in time to get the job done). Even if you’re not being hunted by a robot from the future, getting terminated is never a good thing. In real life, it often means getting fired, and termination is often the official, HR-approved term for the process.

But termination doesn’t always refer to the end of one’s life or the end of one’s job. The termination of a legal contract is the ending of it for a particular reason, perhaps because the period of the contract is over. The termination of a word is the suffix or ending part—the termination of termination is the suffix -tion. In a physical sense, a termination is where something ends or its boundary. However, when referring to something like a trail, the word terminus is more often used to mean the same thing.

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What are some other forms related to termination?

  • terminate (verb)
  • terminational (adjective)
  • nontermination (noun)
  • unterminational (adjective)

What are some synonyms for termination?

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


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

How is termination used in real life?

Termination is most often used in a technical way or in an official context. It is perhaps most commonly used in reference to the firing of an employee, but this sense is mostly used by HR reps and lawyers.



Try using termination!

Which of the following terms is NOT a synonym of termination?

A. beginning
B. cut-off
C. end
D. cessation

How to use termination in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for termination

/ (ˌtɜːmɪˈneɪʃən) /

the act of terminating or the state of being terminated
something that terminates
a final result

Derived forms of termination

terminational, 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