Thesaurus

terminate

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of terminate

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to bring (an event) to a natural or appropriate stopping point
  • we need to terminate the discussion for this evening, but we'll resume tomorrow morning

Synonyms for terminate

Words Related to terminate

Phrases Synonymous with terminate

Antonyms for terminate

2 to come to an end
  • this class will terminate with the arrival of Memorial Day

Synonyms for terminate

Words Related to terminate

Phrases Synonymous with terminate

Near Antonyms for terminate

Antonyms for terminate

3 to mark the limits of
  • terminated the area set aside for the runners to change their clothes with a series of folding screens

Synonyms for terminate

Words Related to terminate

4 to put to death deliberately
  • the operative's covert mission was to terminate the leader of the opposition

Synonyms for terminate

Words Related to terminate

Phrases Synonymous with terminate

Near Antonyms for terminate

5 to let go from office, service, or employment
  • he was terminated for constantly coming in to work late

Synonyms for terminate

Words Related to terminate

Phrases Synonymous with terminate

Near Antonyms for terminate

Antonyms for terminate

terminate

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of terminate (Entry 2 of 2)

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About terminate

How does the verb terminate differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of terminate are close, complete, conclude, end, and finish. While all these words mean "to bring or come to a stopping point or limit," terminate implies the setting of a limit in time or space.

your employment terminates after three months

When might close be a better fit than terminate?

While the synonyms close and terminate are close in meaning, close usually implies that something has been in some way open as well as unfinished.

close a debate

When is complete a more appropriate choice than terminate?

The meanings of complete and terminate largely overlap; however, 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

Where would conclude be a reasonable alternative to terminate?

The words conclude and terminate can be used in similar contexts, but conclude may imply a formal closing (as of a meeting).

the service concluded with a blessing

When can end be used instead of terminate?

In some situations, the words end and terminate are roughly equivalent. However, end conveys a strong sense of finality.

ended his life

In what contexts can finish take the place of terminate?

The synonyms finish and terminate are sometimes interchangeable, but finish may stress completion of a final step in a process.

after it is painted, the house will be finished

Learn More About terminate

Time Traveler for terminate

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near terminate

terminals

terminate

terminated

See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Terminate.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/terminate. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on terminate

Nglish: Translation of terminate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of terminate for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!