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

Antonyms: Verb

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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 If workers are terminated for raising concerns, that could be considered retaliation for exercising their rights under OSHA, Haskin said. Matthew Vantryon, The Indianapolis Star, "Worried about contracting coronavirus when you return to work? Here's what you should know," 13 May 2020 Search efforts for the sixth victim have been terminated and will resume Saturday morning. Elizabeth Depompei, Indianapolis Star, "5 dead, 1 missing after vehicles swept away in floodwaters in Laurel," 20 Mar. 2020 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said Filipino forces can fight insurgents and Muslim extremists without American military help, in a defense of his recent decision to terminate a U.S. security pact. Fox News, "Philippines' Duterte says country can fight insurgents, Muslim extremists without US military," 27 Feb. 2020 Weinstein resigns from the board of Weinstein Co., days after the board had terminated him as co-chairman of the company. Chris Francescani, ABC News, "Timeline: Harvey Weinstein's path to his New York City rape and sexual assault convictions," 24 Feb. 2020 Some Philippine senators have said the government decision to terminate the treaty, which the Senate ratified, should have the chamber's consent. Jim Gomez, Anchorage Daily News, "Philippines notifies US of intent to end major security pact allowing US forces to train in the country," 11 Feb. 2020 The 23-year-old producer now owns the rights to the music masters for his first two albums, 2014's Gold Skies and 2015's Break Through the Silence, while the judge said his decision to terminate his deals in July 2015 were valid. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Martin Garrix 'Pleased With Outcome' of Appeals Court Ruling in Spinnin' Records Lawsuit," 27 Dec. 2019 News about Denver city officials’ decision to terminate a $1.8 billion airport contract two months ago got out before the public announcement, and a city investigation now is looking for the source of leaks to the media. Jon Murray, The Denver Post, "Denver seeks phone records after leak of airport project news," 24 Oct. 2019 The district's decision to terminate Anderson came after officials there grappled with a string of incidents involving race — including other teachers or staff members who use racial epithets in front of students. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Outrage grows after Madison schools fire black security guard who told student to not call him the N-word by using it himself," 18 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for terminate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for terminate

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Terminate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terminate. Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for terminate

terminate

verb
How to pronounce terminate (audio)

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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