terminate

verb
ter·​mi·​nate | \ ˈtər-mə-ˌnāt How to pronounce terminate (audio) \
terminated; terminating

Definition of terminate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to form an ending
2 : to come to an end in time
3 : to extend only to a limit (such as a point or line) especially : to reach a terminus

transitive verb

1a : to bring to an end : close terminate a marriage by divorce terminate a transmission line
b : to discontinue the employment of workers terminated because of slow business
c : to form the conclusion of review questions terminate each chapter
2 : to serve as an ending, limit, or boundary of

terminate

adjective
ter·​mi·​nate | \ ˈtər-mə-nət How to pronounce terminate (audio) \

Definition of terminate (Entry 2 of 2)

: coming to an end or capable of ending

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Synonyms & Antonyms for terminate

Synonyms: Verb

close, close out, complete, conclude, end, finish, round (off or out), wind up, wrap up

Antonyms: Verb

begin, commence, inaugurate, open, start

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Choose the Right Synonym for terminate

Verb

close, end, conclude, finish, complete, terminate mean to bring or come to a stopping point or limit. close usually implies that something has been in some way open as well as unfinished. close a debate end conveys a strong sense of finality. ended his life conclude may imply a formal closing (as of a meeting). the service concluded with a blessing finish may stress completion of a final step in a process. after it is painted, the house will be finished complete implies the removal of all deficiencies or a successful finishing of what has been undertaken. the resolving of this last issue completes the agreement terminate implies the setting of a limit in time or space. your employment terminates after three months

Examples of terminate in a Sentence

Verb

The branches of that tree terminate in flower clusters. The rail line terminates in Boston. You have to terminate the program before the computer will shut down properly. His contract was terminated last month. He was terminated last month. Plans are being made to terminate unproductive employees.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The House measure was the first of its kind to pass since lawmakers in 1976 wrote the National Emergencies Act, which allows Congress to terminate an emergency declaration. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "House Passes Bill Blocking Trump Border Emergency," 26 Feb. 2019 The tube that extends up from the fork used to terminate within the frame. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "How bicycles have changed in the last 25 years," 10 Nov. 2018 Until 2014 the state's constitution spelled out a fundamental right to privacy, extending to a person’s option to terminate a pregnancy. Beca Grimm, Marie Claire, "Getting an Abortion Can Be Lonely. These People Will Hold Your Hand.," 11 Sep. 2018 Barnes & Noble said the board chose to terminate Parneros at the advice of the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, without specifying what prompted the action. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Barnes & Noble fires its CEO without severance pay," 3 July 2018 In 2011, during former GOP Gov. Bill Haslam’s early days, Electrolux officials threatened to terminate the project agreement if the state Legislature did not approve funding or make money available quickly enough. Jonathan Mattise, The Seattle Times, "State: Electrolux not required to repay $100M in Tennessee," 5 Feb. 2019 The breakup wasn’t unexpected, as Micron had signaled its intention to terminate the agreement last year. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel kills Optane 'Core+' desktop processor bundles as 3D XPoint venture dissolves," 15 Jan. 2019 In the 1980s, lawmakers declared that the users of intellectual property through a licensing agreement have some protections, including the right to use that property after a bankrupt company terminates the agreement. Katy Stech Ferek, WSJ, "Supreme Court to Review Bankrupt Company’s Trademark Dispute," 29 Oct. 2018 Ramasar and Catazaro, who were identified in the lawsuit as having shared nude photos with Finlay, were initially suspended without pay before the company moved to terminate them Saturday. Fox News, "NYC Ballet fires 2 dancers over accusations of a nude photo-sharing ring," 16 Sep. 2018

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

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First Known Use of terminate

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for terminate

Adjective

Middle English, from Latin terminatus, past participle of terminare, from terminus

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Last Updated

1 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for terminate

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

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More Definitions for terminate

terminate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of terminate

formal
: to end in a particular way or at a particular place
: to cause (something) to end
US : to take a job away from (someone)

terminate

verb
ter·​mi·​nate | \ ˈtər-mə-ˌnāt How to pronounce terminate (audio) \
terminated; terminating

Kids Definition of terminate

: end entry 2, close I terminated my membership.

terminate

verb
ter·​mi·​nate | \ ˈtər-mə-ˌnāt How to pronounce terminate (audio) \
terminated; terminating

Legal Definition of terminate

intransitive verb

: to come to an end in time or effect

transitive verb

1 : to bring to a definite end especially before a natural conclusion terminate a contract — compare cancel, rescind
2 : to discontinue the employment of

Other Words from terminate

termination \ ˌtər-​mə-​ˈnā-​shən How to pronounce termination (audio) \ noun

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Comments on terminate

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