[ tur-muh-ney-ter ]
/ ˈtɜr məˌneɪ tər /


a person or thing that terminates.
Astronomy. the dividing line between the illuminated and the unilluminated part of a satellite or planet, especially the moon.

Origin of terminator

1760–70; < Late Latin terminātor, equivalent to terminā(re) to terminate + -tor -tor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for terminator

British Dictionary definitions for terminator


/ (ˈtɜːmɪˌneɪtə) /


the line dividing the illuminated and dark part of the moon or a planet
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

Word Origin and History for terminator



1770, "line of separation between the bright and dark parts of a moon or planet," from Latin terminator, from terminare (see terminus). Meaning "one who terminates (something)" is attested from 1846.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper