Definition of end in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɛnd/


1A final part of something, especially a period of time, an activity, or a story: the end of the year Mario led the race from beginning to end
More example sentences
  • Like him or not, we're seeing the tail end of a key era in Canadian politics pass.
  • "Last year marked the tail end of a bad downturn in the electronics business, " he says.
  • We we nearing the end of June and the trip was less than two weeks away.
conclusion, termination, ending, finish, close, resolution, climax, finale, culmination, denouement;
epilogue, coda, peroration
informal wind-up
1.1A termination of a state or situation: the party called for an end to violence one notice will be effective to bring the tenancy to an end
More example sentences
  • For the best part of a century, that clanging sound signalled the abrupt end of an English night out.
  • If Labour wins its expected second landslide it will mark the end of a century of Conservative hegemony.
  • Some suggested its closure signalled the end of the upmarket steakhouse era.
1.2A person’s death: I saw him in hospital a few days before the end
More example sentences
  • It was hardly the most glorious end for a man who had cheated death so many times in so many of the world's wilder places.
death, dying, demise, passing, passing on, passing away, expiration, expiry;
doom, extinction, annihilation, extermination, destruction;
downfall, ruin, ruination, Waterloo
informal curtains, croaking, snuffing
Law  decease
rare quietus
1.3 archaic (In biblical use) an ultimate state or condition: the end of that man is peace
2The furthest or most extreme part of something: the church at the end of the road [as modifier]: the end house
More example sentences
  • They live in a stark, unpainted, concrete house at the end of a five-mile dirt road.
  • The door of the house at the end of the street is open and anyone is welcome in.
  • The precast-concrete panels were attached to the steel ribs at the quarter points of the panels, with the top and bottom ends left unsupported.
extremity, furthermost part, limit, margin, edge, border, boundary, periphery;
point, tip, tail end;
North American  tag end
2.1British A small piece that is left after use: an ashtray full of cigarette ends
More example sentences
  • For example 9 billion cigarette ends get dropped around Australia every year.
  • Some hang on to so-called stub ends, a few shares held for old time's sake, even though they decided to sell out of a position.
butt, stub, stump, remnant, fragment, vestige;
(ends) leftovers, remains, remainder
informal fag end, dog end
2.2A specified extreme of a scale: homebuyers at the lower end of the market
More example sentences
  • During a space mission, astronauts and their spacecraft are exposed to temperature extremes on both ends of the scale.
  • At extreme ends of the scale, the choice as to what you can grow is limited to plants that are suitable to either acid or lime.
  • Would it not have been better to invest that money in raising the level of grants at the lower end of the scale?
aspect, side, section, area, field, part, share, portion, segment, province
2.3Either of two places linked by a telephone call, letter, or journey: ‘Hello,’ said a voice at the other end
More example sentences
  • Despite demonstrating I attempted to purchase a ticket at both ends of my journey and enclosing a copy of a travelcard I bought, my appeal was rejected.
  • These chocolate soldiers of the air breeze past their human cargo apparently determined to avoid eye contact at both ends of the journey.
  • He recommends that the southern end of the link should go ahead in the short-term.
2.4Either of the halves of a sports field or court defended by one team or player: when they changed ends, the goals kept coming
More example sentences
  • He demands that his players play both ends of the court.
  • Saunders always has used a team approach on both ends of the court.
  • A tireless, relentless player at both ends of the court, he is always in the middle of the action and seems to have a knack for coming up with the ball.
3A part or person’s share of an activity: you’re going to honour your end of the deal
More example sentences
  • If she isn't holding up her end of the deal than she should get a job and bring in some income.
  • It probably is a cautionary tale for the rest of us who are in this end of the business.
4A goal or desired result: each would use the other to further his own ends to this end, schools were set up for peasant women
More example sentences
  • The Respondent, on the face of it to further his own ends but also in his view to further the wishes of the assignors, dealt with the matter in such a way that he simply cut out the input of the assignors' solicitors.
  • The religious leader said politicians were trying to use religion to further their own ends, using sectarian violence as a tool.
  • To this end I believe that the County Board must act now before an incident like this ends tragically.
aim, goal, purpose, objective, object, grail, holy grail, target, mission;
intention, intent, design, motive;
aspiration, wish, desire, ambition;
French raison d'être
5(In bowls and curling) a session of play in one particular direction across the playing area.
6 American Football A lineman positioned nearest the sideline: a defensive end
More example sentences
  • He was a pass-rushing defensive end in college.
  • "He's one of the top defensive ends in this league, " Lewis says.
  • They are, however, ready to finally have a decent receiving tight end.


1Come or bring to a final point; finish: [no object]: when the war ended, policy changed the chapter ends with a case study [with object]: she wanted to end the relationship
More example sentences
  • Improbably yet convincingly, the film ends on an optimistic note.
  • Here the film ends on a high note, suggesting that the experience is a positive one.
  • The first season's contest ends on Thursday.
finish, conclude, terminate, come to an end, draw to a close, close, stop, cease;
culminate, climax, build up to, lead up to, reach a finale, come to a head
informal wind up
break off, call off, bring to an end, put an end to, call a halt to, halt, stop, drop, finish, terminate, discontinue, dissolve, cancel, annul
informal nip something in the bud, wind something up, knock something on the head, give something the chop, pull the plug on, axe, scrap, pack in, get shut of
British informal get shot of
archaic sunder
destroy, put an end to, extinguish, snuff out, do away with, wipe out, take
1.1 [no object] Reach a point and go no further: the surfaced road ends at the farm
More example sentences
  • But there's a strange exception to this doctrine. It ends when you reach America's shores.
  • An alley runs from 12th Street behind the entire strip, and it ends before reaching 13th in a concrete wall.
  • It ends when we reach the quantum limit to computing speeds.
1.2 [no object] Perform a final act: the man ended by attacking a police officer
More example sentences
  • It ended by adding a word of caution.
  • He ended by saying that the agreement provides for disputes to be resolved by adjudication.
  • The bishop ended by apologising for upsetting his flock and saying he had been honoured to serve the Church.
1.3 [no object] (end in) Have as its final part or result: the match ended in a draw
More example sentences
  • Remember their fine display against Dublin this time a year ago when the match ended in a draw?
  • There was very little between the teams and it was appropriate that the match ended in a draw.
  • That was the third and last time Kent visited these parts and it was the only game that ended in a definite result.
1.4 [no object] (end up) Eventually come to a specified place or situation: I ended up in Eritrea you could end up with a higher income
More example sentences
  • You'd think his talents would give him at least some benefit in the situations where he ends up in combat.
  • Entering the Bridge Hotel we followed the signs eventually ending up in a dark panelled bar.
  • Sport can be very cruel when a team plays its best football for years and ends up with nothing.
finish up, land up, arrive, find oneself, turn up, come, go, appear
informal wind up, fetch up, show up, roll up, blow in



all ends up

informal Completely.
Example sentences
  • It's one thing to be beaten all ends up from start to finish, but quite another to be solid most of the time and then throw in a poor scrum for no obvious reason.
  • United surged forward and he let rip with a daisy-cutter into the bottom left which had the keeper beaten all ends up.
  • The ‘keeper was beaten all ends up by a rising Curran shot in the 11 th minute of the second half.

at the end of the day

British informal When everything is taken into consideration: at the end of the day I’m responsible for what happens in the school
More example sentences
  • But at the end of the day there are policemen actually who are beginning to speak up.
  • Either way, the fish farmers will, once more, doubtlessly turn a profit at the end of the day.
  • By the very nature of the job, one side will hate you at the end of the day.
ultimately, eventually, in the end, in the long run, at length, finally, sooner or later, in time, in the fullness of time, after some time, in the final analysis, when all is said and done, one day, some day, sometime, at last, at long last
informal when push comes to shove

be at (or have come to) an end

Be finished or completed: negotiations were virtually at an end
More example sentences
  • The spokesman for the environmental group says the research has come to an end and should be concluded.
  • Only when these issues have been addressed and the occupation has come to an end will democracy cease to be an empty concept.
  • As this young soldier realises his life has come to an end, he stops and he thinks.
3.1(Of a supply of something) become exhausted: our patience has come to an end
More example sentences
  • Fire Brigades' Union delegates emerged from a national meeting after deciding their patience was at an end and they had no option but to stage a new, 24-hour walkout.
  • ‘That promise has not been kept and, speaking personally, my patience is at an end on this issue,’ he said.
  • But the evidence now suggests that their patience is at an end.

be at the end of

Be close to having no more of (something): she was at the end of her patience
More example sentences
  • Mrs Murphy, whose family run a manufacturing plant on the estate, said they were at the end of their tether.
  • Unfortunately, they were at the end of the batch.

be the end

British informal Be the limit of what one can tolerate: you really are the end!

come to (or meet) a sticky end

British Be led by one’s own actions to ruin or an unpleasant death: behave yourself or you will come to a sticky end!
More example sentences
  • Apparently in the 33 years they have been parachuting at Cark, only three skydivers have met a sticky end and all were pros doing tricky jumps.
  • And he doesn't mind playing the ‘bad guy’ who eventually meets a sticky end.
  • Historically, imperialism always comes to a sticky end, thank God.

end of story

(also British end of)
informal Used to emphasize that there is nothing to add on a matter just mentioned: Men don’t cry in public. End of story

end one's days (or life)

Spend the final part of one’s life in a specified place or state: she ended her days in London
More example sentences
  • He ends his life as a bankrupt and a dependant of Flashman's aristocratic father-in-law.
  • A young soldier answers the call to fight for King and country, and ends his days in a society that disputes the necessity of soldiering.
  • And Bertram, full of the most charisma and promise as a youth, ends his days as a minor and mildly eccentric academic.

an end in itself

A goal that is pursued in its own right to the exclusion of others: competition is not an end in itself
More example sentences
  • We do not believe that it can be pursued as an end in itself.
  • It is a means toward a goal rather than an end in itself.
  • Any rational nation will treat the U.N. as a means to pursue its ends, not as an end in itself.

end in tears

British Have an unhappy or unpleasant outcome: this treaty will end in tears
More example sentences
  • The outcome nearly always ends in tears, with tantrums on both sides and withheld fees.
  • In my experience, close proximity ends in tears more than anything else.
  • These women follow the same pattern in their dealings with the media: first they are used by Fleet Street, then they try to use Fleet Street, then it all ends in tears.

end it all

Commit suicide: his life was meaningless without Coleen, so he would end it all
More example sentences
  • At one point a couple of years ago, he says, he thought about ending it all, going out after one last amazing, self-destructive bender.
  • For those who are alone and lonely, that anonymous, comforting voice on the other end of the line might be one thing that prevents them from ending it all, there and then.
  • Several times now I have contemplated ending it all.

the end justifies the means

Wrong or unfair methods may be used if the overall goal is good: we excuse our greed by claiming that the end justifies the means
More example sentences
  • I understand that for them the end justifies the means, but I can't help worrying about where society will eventually draw the line.
  • A career cop who followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, he believes the end justifies the means.
  • But I still cannot believe in the idea that the end justifies the means.

the end of the road (or line)

The point beyond which progress or survival cannot continue: if the damages award is not lowered it could be the end of the road for the publisher they’ve been offered compensation and they’ll accept, but only because they feel they’ve reached the end of the line
More example sentences
  • A meeting will take place today to decide if it is the end of the road for workers at the plant.
  • After 170 years of wacky inventions and strange new models, it seems we may finally be at the end of the road for the electric car.
  • Some say it's the end of the road for players like Paul and others.

the end of one's tether (or North American rope)

British Having no patience or energy left to cope with something: these individuals have reached the end of their tether
More example sentences
  • She said she can't cope with it anymore as she's at the end of her tether.
  • The ad, which speaks to a patient at the end of his rope, states, ‘If you have advanced HIV, your options are limited.’
  • I am at the end of my tether and I feel that I can no longer cope with the behaviour of the defendant and her family.
at one's wits' end, desperate, not knowing which way to turn, unable to cope;
North American  at the end of one's rope

the end of the world

The termination of life on the earth.
Example sentences
  • People screamed and flung themselves face down upon the earth fearing it was the end of the world.
  • And we have become almost immune to those harbingers of doom who foretell the end of the world.
  • That was how the prophets of doom predicted the end of the world at midnight on the millennium.
informal15.1 A complete disaster: it’s not the end of the world if we draw
More example sentences
  • There will be some who will proclaim this result a disaster, the end of the world.
  • It would be great to make a million dollars but if we don't, that's not exactly the end of the world..
  • Leaving it a little more open-ended wouldn't be the end of the world.

end on

With the end of an object facing towards one: seen end on, their sharp summits point like arrows
16.1With the end of an object touching that of another: stone tiles had been layered end on with incredible skill
More example sentences
  • For three blocks the surrounding streets have been closed off except to motorcycles and as far as the eye can see Harleys are parked end on to the curb.

end to end

In a row with the end of one object touching that of another: bales were laid end to end for a delivery
More example sentences
  • If every Barbie doll ever manufactured were laid end to end, they would circle the earth three and a half times.
  • If all the glass, wine and beer bottles were laid end to end, they would stretch from Ireland to Sri Lanka.
  • Once he has reached that figure he will begin laying the coins end to end to try and form the longest line of pennies ever.

get (or have) one's end away

British vulgar slang Have sexual intercourse.

get one's end in

Australian vulgar slang Have sexual intercourse.
Example sentences
  • It appears Peter should have tried to get his end in before telling her.
  • Someone who has never gotten his end in thinks he is qualified to preach on the subject of unwanted pregnancy.
  • She was afraid he would be wanting to get his end in other women soon.

in the end

Eventually or on reflection: in the end, I saw that she was right
More example sentences
  • Moralising on the basis of hurricanes and storm surges is not going to help anybody in the end.
  • They would either have to let me go in the end and face doing time in jail if they were caught or they would have to kill me.
  • It may cost a little more to do it that way but in the end their passengers would think better of them for it.

keep (or hold) one's end up

British informal Perform well in a difficult or competitive situation: Michael had to keep his end up against attacks
More example sentences
  • It's hard for guys to step into a team and he's still naive when it comes to calls and knowing our players but he's held his end up competently.
  • I can certainly keep my end up in the school choir, which I love.
  • The youngster held his end up in the tight exchanges and after scoring the first try he actually side-stepped a winger to score another in the second half.

make an end of

Cause (someone or something) to stop existing or die: we regret that the printers did not make an end of half-paid female labour
More example sentences
  • As Daniel says - He has made an end of sin and finished transgression.
  • The English spectators, respecting his determination to make an end of himself, stood politely by and let him drown.
  • One day the brothers who had been driven out came together, killed and devoured their father and so made an end of the patriarchal horde.

make (both) ends meet

Earn just enough money to live on: they were finding it hard to make ends meet
More example sentences
  • Some want to make enough money to make ends meet; others want money for extras or just a way to stay busy.
  • Liz and Nick were always out to work but they barely had enough money to make ends meet.
  • This will lead to loss of trade to the shopkeepers who are all having a hard enough time to make ends meet as it is.
manage, cope, get by, survive, exist, subsist, muddle through/along, scrape by/along/through, get along, make do, barely/scarcely have enough to live on, keep the wolf from the door, keep one's head above water, scrimp, scrape a living
informal make out

never (or not) hear the end of

Be continually reminded of (an unpleasant topic or cause of annoyance): a criminal court which admitted such a defence would never hear the end of it
More example sentences
  • I didn't hear the end of that one for a long, long time.
  • My goodness we didn't hear the end of that one for months.
  • ‘You put a photo of him in the paper and we'll never hear the end of it,’ they warned.

no end

informal To a great extent; very much: this cheered me up no end
More example sentences
  • And I was shown a picture of the Other Half in knee socks, which cheered me up no end.
  • That cheers me up no end knowing that in four weeks the depression will melt away.
  • That cheered me up no end and the round of applause after that was mentioned went on for minutes!

no end of

informal A great deal of: emotions can cause no end of problems
More example sentences
  • Michael provided us with no end of entertainment.
  • It's a question with a long history and no end of long answers.
  • My current housemate has no end of casual tricks.

on end

1Continuing without stopping for a specified period of time: sometimes they’ll be gone for days on end
More example sentences
  • Sonic would keep me occupied for hours on end.
  • The Cochin Port Trust continued to maintain the steel structure for years on end.
  • Sometimes their legs are tied together for years on end in the misguided hope that this will heal them.
2In an upright position: he brushed his hair, leaving a tuft standing on end
More example sentences
  • Linda's hair was messed up and Aaron's auburn hair was standing straight on end.
  • Oh, and needless to say, Ronnie Spector is a complete goddess whose voice can make the hairs on the back of one's neck stand on end.
  • The other kind of trailer is the one that knocks your socks off, stands your hair on end, sears the retina and leaves you gasping.

put an end to

Cause (someone or something) to stop existing or die: injury put an end to his career he decided to put an end to himself
More example sentences
  • A Government inspector has finally backed a controversial road scheme, putting an end to five years of debate and acrimonious protests.
  • Predictably, the tree caught fire, putting an end to any more time-saving innovations.
  • This deal puts an end to three years of circus.
destroy, kill, bring to an end, be the end of, end, extinguish, dash, quell, quash, ruin, wreck, shatter, smash, crush, scotch;
stop, block, frustrate, thwart, put a stop to, prevent, defeat, derail
informal put paid to, do for, put the lid on, put the kibosh on, stymie, queer
British informal scupper, dish

the sharp end

1The most important or influential part of an activity or process: he was born at the sharp end of history
More example sentences
  • Unlike any university-based course, the WPI programme exposed us to the sharp end of power, wealth, and social and political influences.
  • That's why it is so important that the people on the sharp end of these structural changes are given the opportunity to get their message through - loud and clear.
1.1The most risky or unpleasant part of a system or activity: businessmen are at the sharp end of the recession
More example sentences
  • What the Executive now needs is to start developing the skills which would allow it to understand how demanding life is at the sharp end of public service delivery for teachers, doctors, police officers and others.
  • He was spot on when he said ‘Rough sleepers are at the sharp end of social exclusion.’
  • ‘The guys on the street are at the sharp end of things,’ he says.
2British humorous The bow of a ship.

a —— to end all ——s

informal Used to emphasize how impressive or successful something is of its kind: she is going to throw a party to end all parties

without end

Without a limit or boundary: a war without end
More example sentences
  • The appalling realities seem to continue without end.
  • The words it spoke were without beginning and without end, an eternal toll.
  • There is noise, disturbance, pollution, and traffic without end - a habitat that only Homo sapiens can endure.

world without end

Forever or infinitely: the long summer days stretched ahead, world without end
More example sentences
  • Our knowledge of the riches of the glory of God will increase forever and ever, world without end.
  • We all remember the Dead Boys, the Germs, the Damned, the Clash, Television, etcetera and so on world without end.
  • As Paul the apostle says in Ephesians 3: 21, ‘unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.’


Old English ende (noun), endian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch einde (noun), einden (verb) and German Ende (noun), enden (verb).

  • To make ends meet or make both ends meet, ‘earn enough money to live on’, was formerly also make the two ends of the year meet. It probably refers to the idea of making your annual income stretch from the beginning to the end of the year. The phrase goes back to at least 1661. If you are at the end of your tether you have no patience or energy left to cope with something. People in North America tend to say that they are at the end of their rope. The image behind both expressions is that of a grazing animal tethered on a rope so that it can move where it likes, but only within a certain range. When it reaches the end of its tether—when the rope is taut—it can go no further. At the end of the day has become one of those clichés that enrages teachers and linguistic purists. It is now continually parroted by sports players and commentators, but does not seem to have been used before the 1970s.

Words that rhyme with end

amend, append, apprehend, ascend, attend, befriend, bend, blend, blende, commend, comprehend, condescend, contend, defriend, depend, emend, expend, extend, fend, forfend, friend, impend, interdepend, lend, mend, misapprehend, misspend, offend, on-trend, Oostende, Ostend, perpend, portend, rend, reprehend, scrag-end, send, spend, subtend, suspend, tail end, tend, transcend, trend, underspend, unfriend, upend, vend, weekend, wend

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: end

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