adj. & n.
adj. 1 a (of a disease) ending in death, fatal. b (of a patient) in the last stage of a fatal disease. c (of a morbid condition) forming the last stage of a fatal disease. d colloq. ruinous, disastrous, very great (terminal laziness). 2 of or forming a limit or terminus (terminal station). 3 a Zool. etc. ending a series (terminal joints). b Bot. borne at the end of a stem etc. 4 of or done etc. each term (terminal accounts; terminal examinations).
n. 1 a terminating thing; an extremity. 2 a terminus for trains or long-distance buses. 3 a departure and arrival building for air passengers. 4 a point of connection for closing an electric circuit. 5 an apparatus for transmission of messages between a user and a computer, communications system, etc. 6 (in full terminal figure) = TERMINUS 6. 7 an installation where oil is stored at the end of a pipeline or at a port. 8 a patient suffering from a terminal illness. terminal velocity a velocity of a falling body such that the resistance of the air etc. prevents further increase of speed under gravity. terminally adv.
[ L terminalis (as TERMINUS) ]