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[tur-muh-neyt] /ˈtɜr məˌneɪt/
verb (used with object), terminated, terminating.
to bring to an end; put an end to:
to terminate a contract.
to occur at or form the conclusion of:
The countess's soliloquy terminates the play.
to bound or limit spatially; form or be situated at the extremity of.
to dismiss from a job; fire:
to terminate employees during a recession.
verb (used without object), terminated, terminating.
to end, conclude, or cease.
(of a train, bus, or other public conveyance) to end a scheduled run at a certain place:
This train terminates in New York.
to come to an end (often followed by at, in, or with).
to issue or result (usually followed by in).
Origin of terminate
late Middle English
1580-90; v. use of late Middle English terminate (adj.) limited < Latin terminātus, past participle of termināre. See term, -ate1
Related forms
terminative, adjective
terminatively, adverb
nonterminative, adjective
nonterminatively, adverb
self-terminating, adjective
self-terminative, adjective
unterminated, adjective
unterminating, adjective
unterminative, adjective
Can be confused
downsize, fire, lay off, rightsize, terminate.
1, 2. end, finish, conclude, close, complete. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for terminating
  • Repeating patterns, terminating patterns, and non-repeating non-terminating seemingly random patterns appear.
  • Authors must decide the rule for terminating data collection before data collection begins and report this rule in the article.
  • We may succeed in provisionally terminating the sum of energy of our waking thoughts by deciding to go to sleep.
  • Failure to appear for the medication would be grounds for terminating his release.
  • The writer and his administrative colleagues are currently being sued for terminating a tenured professor for dissent.
  • Metal bars cantilever over his shoulders and down along his arms, terminating in menacing, knuckle-dragging hooks.
  • He promised not to commercialise the genetic engineering of seed sterility, in effect terminating terminator.
  • The teachers' unions have an impressive record of terminating reformers.
  • But ministers are nervous of simply terminating his contract, given the powerful reputation he has built up as a prison reformer.
  • Rather science progresses in fits and starts, with many avenues terminating as blind alleys.
British Dictionary definitions for terminating


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
(transitive) to connect (suitable circuitry) to the end of an electrical transmission line to absorb the energy and avoid reflections
(intransitive) (maths) (of a decimal expansion) to have only a finite number of digits
(transitive) (slang) to kill (someone)
Derived Forms
terminative, adjective
terminatory, adjective
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for terminating



1610s, "to bring to an end," from Latin terminatus, past participle of terminare "to limit, end" (see terminus). Sense of "to come to an end" is recorded from 1640s; meaning "dismiss from a job" is recorded from 1973; that of "to assassinate" is from 1975. Related: Terminated; terminating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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