Definition of terminate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtəːmɪneɪt/


1 [with object] Bring to an end: he was advised to terminate the contract
More example sentences
  • When the work was more than half finished the homeowners terminated the contract.
  • She went off on sick leave in early 1998 and her appointment was terminated in March that year.
  • As a result, data collection in these sites was terminated prior to achieving the targeted number of cases.
bring to an end, end, bring to a close/conclusion, close, conclude, finish, stop, put an end to, put a stop to, wind up, discontinue, break off, cease, cut short, bring to an untimely end, abort;
informal pull the plug on
1.1End (a pregnancy) before term by artificial means.
Example sentences
  • Once the fetal demise was diagnosed, pregnancy was terminated by medical induction, such that the products of conception were largely delivered intact.
  • In severe cases, detected early in pregnancy, the option of terminating the pregnancy may be considered.
  • I work as an obstetrician in a city where one in three pregnancies is terminated.
abort, end
1.2 [no object] (Of a train, bus, or boat service) end its journey: the train will terminate at Stratford
More example sentences
  • We all got off at Kennington, because the train was terminating; he stumbles and falls over onto the other platform.
  • The driver told them the bus had terminated and asked them to leave, but they demanded to be taken on to Danebury Avenue.
  • The doors closed, we trundled to the next station, then the train terminated.
end its journey, finish up, stop
1.3chiefly North American End the employment of (someone); dismiss: Adamson’s putting pressure on me to terminate you
More example sentences
  • The Plaintiff testified that she was shocked that she was terminated from her employment.
  • An at-will policy allows employers to terminate workers at the company's discretion.
  • When someone is terminated, sit down with each employee individually and tell them why that happened, Duffy says.
1.4 euphemistic, chiefly North American Murder (someone): he was terminated by persons unknown
2 [no object] (terminate in) (Of a thing) have its end at (a specified place) or of (a specified form): the chain terminated in an iron ball covered with spikes
More example sentences
  • A road does not necessarily terminate in the same sector in which it begins.
  • The end result is a three-storey, south-facing crescent, terminating in a taller building at either side, creating a book-end effect.
  • The group took a thrilling helicopter ride over the glacier, which descends some 2,280 feet, terminating in a spectacular icefall that feeds the river.
2.1 [with object] archaic Form the physical end or extremity of (an area).
Example sentences
  • The tennis complex terminates the Olympic site, and the centre court was designed to be a visual stop for the main axis, as well as a congenial focus for the sport.


terminate someone with extreme prejudice

euphemistic, chiefly US Murder someone.
Example sentences
  • If I told you I'd have to remotely terminate you with extreme prejudice immediately afterwards!
  • They might send missiles or the guy next door might be about to terminate you with extreme prejudice.
  • If you have a heavy-breathing guy in a mask trying to terminate you with extreme prejudice while you're doing this, your hands will probably be shaking, so add at least a minute to the process.


Late 16th century (in the sense 'direct an action towards a specified end'): from Latin terminat- 'limited, ended', from the verb terminare, from terminus 'end, boundary'.

Words that rhyme with terminate

exterminate, germinate, verminate

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ter¦min|ate

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