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[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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for terminator
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They would certainly be indicated on the terminator, and yet not a trace of such markings has been found.

    Mars and its Mystery Edward Sylvester Morse
  • The "terminator" is the boundary between the lighted and the dark portion of the disc.

  • The liberation of the tiny planet and consequent shifting of the terminator was bringing frigidity to Vulcan's Workshop.

    Vulcan's Workshop Harl Vincent
  • If the Moon was as smooth as a billiard ball the terminator would be clear cut.

    Mars and its Mystery Edward Sylvester Morse
  • The general shape of this line is never a circle but always elliptical, and astronomers call it the terminator.

    Astronomy David Todd
British Dictionary definitions for terminator


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
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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
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terminator in Technology

A resistor connected to a signal wire in a bus or network for the purpose of impedance matching to prevent reflections.
For example, a 50 ohm resistor connected across the end of an Ethernet cable. SCSI chains and some LocalTalk wiring schemes also require terminators.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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