1. Of, at, relating to, or forming a limit, boundary, extremity, or end: the terminal moraine of a glacier.
2. Botany Growing or appearing at the end of a stem, branch, stalk, or similar part.
3. Of, at, relating to, or being the end of a section or series; final. See Synonyms at last1.
4. Of or relating to a transportation terminal: stopped at the terminal bar for a drink.
5. Relating to or occurring in a term or each term: terminal inventories.
6. Causing, ending in, or approaching death; fatal: terminal cancer; a terminal patient.
7. Informal Extreme: terminal boredom.
1. A point or part that forms the end.
2. An ornamental figure or object placed at the end of a larger structure; a finial.
a. A position in a circuit or device at which a connection is normally established or broken.
b. A passive conductor at such a position used to facilitate the connection.
a. An end of a railroad or other transportation line, or a station at such an end.
b. A building in an airport where travelers board and get off airplanes.
c. A town at the end of a transportation line.
5. Computers A device, often equipped with a keyboard and a video display, through which data or information can be entered or displayed.
[Middle English, from Latin terminālis, from terminus, boundary.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.