Definition of


  1. (verb, change) bring to an end or halt
    The attack on Poland terminated the relatively peaceful period after WW I
  2. (verb, social) terminate the employment of; discharge from an office or position
    The company terminated 25% of its workers
  3. (verb, stative) have an end, in a temporal, spatial, or quantitative sense; either spatial or metaphorical
    Your rights stop where you infringe upon the rights of other
    My property ends by the bushes
    The symphony ends in a pianissimo
  4. (verb, stative) be the end of; be the last or concluding part of

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Terminate

  1. 1610s, "to bring to an end," from L. terminatus, pp. of terminare "to limit, end" (see terminus). Sense of "to come to an end" is recorded from 1640s; meaning "dismiss from a job" is recorded from 1973; that of "to assassinate" is from 1975. Related: Terminated; terminating. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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