terminal

adjective
ter·​mi·​nal | \ ˈtərm-nəl How to pronounce terminal (audio) , ˈtər-mə-nᵊl\

Definition of terminal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : leading ultimately to death : fatal terminal cancer
(2) : approaching or close to death : being in the final stages of a fatal disease a terminal patient
(3) : of or relating to patients with a terminal illness terminal care
b : of, relating to, or occurring in a term or each term terminal payments
c : extremely or hopelessly severe terminal boredom
2a : of or relating to an end, extremity, boundary, or terminus a terminal pillar
b : growing at the end of a branch or stem a terminal bud
3a : occurring at or constituting the end of a period or series : concluding the terminal moments of life
b : not intended as preparation for further academic work a terminal curriculum

terminal

noun

Definition of terminal (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : either end of a carrier line having facilities for the handling of freight and passengers
b : a freight or passenger station that is central to a considerable area or serves as a junction at any point with other lines
c : a town or city at the end of a carrier line : terminus
2 : a combination of a keyboard and output device (such as a video display unit) by which data can be entered into or output from a computer or electronic communications system
3 : a device attached to the end of a wire or cable or to an electrical apparatus for convenience in making connections
4 : a part that forms the end : extremity, termination
5 : a terminating usually ornamental detail : finial

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from terminal

Adjective

terminally adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for terminal

Adjective

last, final, terminal, ultimate mean following all others (as in time, order, or importance). last applies to something that comes at the end of a series but does not always imply that the series is completed or stopped. last page of a book last news we had of him final applies to that which definitely closes a series, process, or progress. final day of school terminal may indicate a limit of extension, growth, or development. terminal phase of a disease ultimate implies the last degree or stage of a long process beyond which further progress or change is impossible. the ultimate collapse of the system

Examples of terminal in a Sentence

Adjective

She was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I was suffering from terminal boredom. another person with terminal stupidity branches that end in a terminal bud

Noun

I will meet you outside the bus terminal. Flight 1584 is now departing from Gate 6 in Terminal A. You are not allowed in the terminal without a ticket. Ten terminals are connected to this server. You will need to clean the corrosion off the battery terminals.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

And were such a plot uncovered, the damage to Saudi Arabia's already beleaguered reputation in the Beltway could be terminal. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "Iran will get the blame, but the Gulf of Oman truth is likely a lot murkier," 13 June 2019 One time, an area zoo hosted an event for children with terminal illnesses, and Dixon spent time for each kid. Stephen Ruiz, orlandosentinel.com, "Bucs rookie D’Cota Dixon left impact beyond football in Wisconsin," 15 Aug. 2019 Capitalizing on the growing popularity of genetic testing — and fears of terminal illness — scammers are persuading seniors to take two types of genetic screenings that are covered by Medicare Part B, according to experts familiar with the schemes. NBC News, "Genetic-testing scam targets seniors and rips off Medicare," 31 July 2019 In the film, a far-flung family decides to keep a terminal diagnosis from a beloved grandmother in China. Hal Boedeker, orlandosentinel.com, "‘Farewell,’ one of year’s best, is Enzian’s for now," 26 July 2019 Even for patients with terminal diagnoses, traditional medicine can offer palliative care that can manage the pain and may be covered by health insurance. Abby Ohlheiser, Washington Post, "They turn to Facebook and YouTube to find a cure for cancer — and get sucked into a world of bogus medicine," 25 June 2019 Hospice care allows patients to live at home with their families, but to qualify, an individual must have a terminal diagnosis of six months or less to live. Ann Neumann, Harper's magazine, "Going to Extremes," 10 June 2019 Wang’s film is based on real events from 2013, when her grandmother — known as Nai Nai — was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, but went on unaware after the family decided to shield her from the news. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, "Lulu Wang nearly compromised with ‘The Farewell.’ Then she stayed true to her story.," 18 July 2019 When her grandmother in China was diagnosed with a terminal illness, the family in China and America decided not to tell her. Mark Olsen, latimes.com, "Indie Focus: Real lies and true emotions in ‘The Farewell’," 12 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The terminal in Pristina was a scrum of police and reporters. The Economist, "Confessions of an Islamic State fighter," 16 Aug. 2019 The terminal was, at last, ready for people and buses again. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "How 'Microcracks' Undermined San Francisco's New Bus Terminal," 10 Aug. 2019 Located at the end of Harbor Way South, the terminal is directly adjacent to the Craneway Pavilion. Erin Baldassari, The Mercury News, "Popular Richmond ferry opens for weekend trips to San Francisco," 3 Aug. 2019 The Los Angeles Greyhound bus terminal was a noisy and sometimes dangerous place in the mid-1980s when Lebohang Morake arrived there at age 22. Court Stroud, Washington Post, "He was once homeless and sleeping in a bus station. Now, he’s collaborating with Beyoncé on ‘The Lion King’," 1 Aug. 2019 Bus terminals in the north are full of cartel lookouts. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fear, bribes, gangs, coyotes: A Guatemalan’s trek to the US," 30 July 2019 The situation was resolved and all terminals are now open, according to Phoenix Sky Harbor's tweet. Molly Hudson, azcentral, "Terminal 4 checkpoints at Phoenix Sky Harbor reopen after police activity," 1 July 2019 The terminal is a regular call for some of the world’s biggest shipping companies, bringing in a steady source of income. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Macquarie Gets a Foothold in U.S.-Asia Ocean Trade," 5 May 2019 In February 2017, Kim’s older half brother was assassinated in a busy airport terminal in Malaysia, garnering global headlines. Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘The Great Successor’ paints a macabre portrait of Kim Jong Un," 24 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'terminal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of terminal

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

Noun

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for terminal

Adjective

Latin terminalis, from terminus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about terminal

Statistics for terminal

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for terminal

The first known use of terminal was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for terminal

terminal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of terminal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: causing death eventually : leading finally to death
: having an illness that cannot be cured and that will soon lead to death
: of or relating to patients who have a terminal illness

terminal

noun

English Language Learners Definition of terminal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a building where buses or trains regularly stop so that passengers can get on and off
: a building at an airport where people get on and off airplanes
: a computer or a combination of a keyboard and a video display that is connected to a system and used for entering or receiving data

terminal

adjective
ter·​mi·​nal | \ ˈtər-mə-nᵊl How to pronounce terminal (audio) \

Kids Definition of terminal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: relating to or forming an end branches with terminal buds

terminal

noun

Kids Definition of terminal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : either end of a transportation line or a passenger or freight station located at it the bus terminal
2 : a device (as in a computer system) used to put in, receive, and display information He typed his request into the terminal.
3 : a device at the end of a wire or on a machine for making an electrical connection

terminal

adjective
ter·​mi·​nal | \ ˈtərm-nəl, -ən-ᵊl How to pronounce terminal (audio) \

Medical Definition of terminal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or being at an end, extremity, boundary, or terminus the terminal phalanx of a finger
2a : leading ultimately to death : fatal terminal cancer
b : approaching or close to death : being in the final stages of a fatal disease a terminal patient
c : of or relating to patients with a terminal illness terminal care
3 : being at or near the end of a chain of atoms making up a molecule the terminal carbon

Other Words from terminal

terminally \ -​ē How to pronounce terminally (audio) \ adverb

terminal

noun

Medical Definition of terminal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a part that forms an end especially : nerve ending synthesis of a neurotransmitter in the presynaptic terminal of a neuron — R. J. Wurtman

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on terminal

What made you want to look up terminal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

recurring in steady succession

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!