terminate 1 of 2


2 of 2


as in to end
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 & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

as in to define
to mark the limits of terminated the area set aside for the runners to change their clothes with a series of folding screens

Synonyms & Similar Words


Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near terminate

Cite this Entry

“Terminate.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/terminate. Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on terminate

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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