Meaning of END in English

I. end 1 S1 W1 /end/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ end , ↑ ending ; adjective : ↑ unending , ↑ endless ; verb : ↑ end ; adverb : ↑ endlessly ]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: ende ]

1 . LAST PART [singular] the last part of a period of time, event, activity, or story OPP beginning , start

end of

Costs are expected to double by the end of 2012.

at the end

What would she find at the end of her journey?

Hooker’s death marked the end of an era.

I played the tape from beginning to end.

2 . FINISHED [singular] a situation in which something is finished or no longer exists

put/bring an end to something

It’s hoped the talks may bring an end to the violence.

call for/demand an end to something

The EU is demanding an end to the ivory trade.

At last it seemed the war might be coming to an end.

The spacecraft is nearing the end of its useful life.

be at an end

He rose to indicate that the conversation was at an end.

Well, I hope that’s the end of the matter.

Another year has passed, with no end in sight to the suffering.

3 . FURTHEST PART [countable] the part of a place or object that is furthest from its beginning or centre

end of

We sat at opposite ends of the table.

He wore spectacles perched on the very end of his nose.

The end of the pencil snapped.

Jo joined the end of the line.

the far end (=furthest from you) of the room

The channel measures 20 feet from end to end.

stand/place something on end (=in an upright position)

He stood the box on end to open it.

lay/place something end to end (=in a line, with the ends touching)

bricks laid end to end

4 . SCALE [countable usually singular] one of the two points that begin or end a scale

lower/cheaper etc end

the cheaper end of the price range

At the opposite end of the political spectrum are the Marxist theories.

Some teenagers are just a nuisance, but at the other end of the scale there are kids who pose a real threat.

5 . CONNECTION [countable usually singular] one of two places that are connected by a telephone call, journey etc

the end of the phone/line

Sometimes, all you need is a calm voice on the end of the phone.

We’ll get a bus connection at the other end.

Any problems at your end (=where you are) ?

6 . REMAINING PIECE [countable] especially British English a small piece of something that is left after you have finished with it:

cigarette ends

7 . AIM [usually plural] an aim or purpose, or the result you hope to achieve

political/military etc ends

40% of all research is undertaken for military ends.

She’ll do anything to achieve her own ends.

Every task has a clear end in view.

to that end formal :

He wants to cut costs, and to that end is looking at ways of cutting the company’s operations.

an end in itself (=something you do because you want to, not in order to get other advantages)

IT is a tool for learning, not merely an end in itself.

the end justifies the means (=used to say that doing bad things is acceptable if they achieve an important result)

8 . PART OF AN ACTIVITY [singular] informal part of a job, activity, or situation that involves or affects one person or group of people:

She works in the sales end of things.

9 . SPORT [countable] one of the two halves of a sports field

10 . DEATH [countable usually singular] a word meaning death – used to avoid saying this directly:

He met his end (=died) in a car accident.

11 . at the end of the day spoken used to give your final opinion after considering all the possibilities:

At the end of the day, it’s his decision.

12 . for days/weeks etc on end for many days, weeks etc without stopping:

He was tortured for days on end.

13 . in the end after a period of time, or after everything has been done:

What did you decide in the end?

14 . end of (story) spoken informal used to mean that you will not say any more about something, or that the situation cannot be changed:

I’m not going – end of story.

15 . the end of your tether/rope the point at which you are so angry and tired of a situation that you can no longer deal with it:

Frustrated and bitter, Hogan had reached the end of his tether with politics.

16 . the end of the road/line the end of a process, activity, or state:

Our marriage had reached the end of the line.

17 . make ends meet to have only just enough money to buy the things you need:

When Mike lost his job, we could barely make ends meet.

18 . it’s not the end of the world spoken used to tell someone that a problem is not as bad as they think

19 . hold/keep your end up British English informal to stay brave and hopeful in a difficult situation

20 . no end spoken informal very much:

Your letter cheered me up no end.

21 . no end of trouble/problems etc spoken informal a lot of trouble etc:

This will cause no end of trouble.

22 . the living end American English spoken used as an expression of slight disapproval – often used humorously:

What will she do next? She’s the living end!

23 . go to the ends of the earth literary to do everything possible to achieve something:

I’d go to the ends of the earth to be with him.

24 . to the end of time literary forever

⇨ ↑ dead end , ↑ odds and ends , ⇨ be-all and end all at ↑ be 2 (15), ⇨ to the bitter end at ↑ bitter 1 (6), ⇨ burn the candle at both ends at ↑ burn 1 (19), ⇨ jump/be thrown in at the deep end at ↑ deep 1 (17), ⇨ go off at the deep end at ↑ deep 1 (18), ⇨ be at a loose end at ↑ loose 1 (14), ⇨ make sb’s hair stand on end at ↑ hair (8), ⇨ be on/at the receiving end (of something) at ↑ receive (5), ⇨ be on the sharp end of at ↑ sharp 1 (19), ⇨ come to a sticky end at ↑ sticky (6), ⇨ the tail end of something at ↑ tail 1 (6), ⇨ at your wits’ end at ↑ wit (7), ⇨ get the wrong end of the stick at ↑ wrong 1 (15)

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)

■ phrases

▪ the end of the day/week/month etc

Karen’s returning to the States at the end of the month.

▪ the end of March/July/December etc

My licence runs out at the end of May.

▪ the end of the war

The two men met once again before the end of the war.

▪ be/mark the end of an era (=be the end of a period of time in history that is known for a particular event, or for particular qualities)

The principal’s death marked the end of an era at the college.

▪ from beginning to end

Michael Jordon led the race from beginning to end.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)

■ verbs

▪ come to an end (=end)

Arsenal’s ten-match unbeaten run came to an end with a 3–2 defeat at United.

▪ draw to an end (=to reach the end)

My holiday was drawing to an end.

▪ get to/reach the end of something

The 40 year-old power station has now reached the end of its operating life.

▪ put an end to something (=make something end)

A shoulder injury put an end to his baseball career.

▪ bring an end to something/bring something to an end (=make something end)

They began peace talks aimed at bringing an end to the civil war.

▪ call for/demand an end to something (=publicly ask for something to happen or be done)

The union is calling for an end to discrimination.

■ adjectives

▪ a sudden/abrupt end (=sudden and unexpected)

After the news leaked out, his political career came to a sudden end.

▪ an early end

Hopes of an early end to the conflict are fading.

▪ a fitting end to something (=right for a particular situation or occasion)

The fireworks display was a fitting end to the celebrations.

■ phrases

▪ the end of the matter

If you think that’s the end of the matter, you’re mistaken.

▪ the end is in sight (=near)

After a three year wait, the end is finally in sight.

• • •

THESAURUS (for Meaning 3)

▪ end the part of a place or object that is furthest from the centre or the beginning:

the end of the table


the end of the street

▪ tip the end of something, especially something pointed:

the tip of your nose


an arrow tip

▪ point the sharp end of something:

The point of the pencil broke.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 3)

■ adjectives

▪ the opposite/other end (of something)

Jon and his girlfriend were sitting at the opposite end of the bar.

▪ the far end (of something) (=furthest from you)

He walked to the far end of the room and sat at his desk.

▪ deep/shallow end (=used about the ends of a swimming pool where the water is deepest or least deep)

The kids were splashing about in the shallow end.

■ phrases

▪ lay/place something end to end (=in a line, with the ends touching)

The roof tiles are laid end to end.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 8)

■ adjectives

▪ political/military financial etc ends

The government exploited the situation for political ends.

■ verbs

▪ achieve your own ends (=to get what you want, used to show disapproval)

Some people would do almost anything to achieve their own ends.

■ phrases

▪ to that end (=with that aim or purpose)

Our first priority is safety, and the airline is working to that end.

▪ an end in itself (=the thing that you want to achieve)

The programme is not an end in itself, but rather the first step the prisoner takes towards a new life.

▪ the end justifies the means (=used to say that something bad is acceptable, if it achieves a good result)

Their defence, that the end justifies the means, is not acceptable.

▪ a means to an end (=a way of achieving what you want)

To Joe, work was a means to an end, nothing more.

▪ with this end in view (=with this thing in mind as an aim)

We need to reduce costs, so with this end in view, the company is switching supplier.

II. end 2 S1 W1 BrE AmE verb

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ end , ↑ ending ; adjective : ↑ unending , ↑ endless ; verb : ↑ end ; adverb : ↑ endlessly ]

1 .

a) [intransitive] if an event, activity, or story ends, it stops happening OPP start , begin :

World War II ended in 1945.

end with

The festival will end with a spectacular laser show.

b) [transitive] to make something stop happening OPP start , begin :

The talks are aimed at ending the conflict.

2 . [intransitive] to finish what you are doing OPP start , begin :

I think we'll end there for today.

end by doing something

I’d like to end by inviting questions from the audience.

3 . [intransitive] if a road, path, line etc ends, it reaches its final point OPP start , begin :

This is where the line ends.

4 . [transitive] to reach the final point in a period of time in a particular condition OPP start , begin :

They ended the game with a score of 63-42.

The company ended the year with record profits.

5 . end your days to spend the last part of your life in a particular place or doing a particular thing:

He ended his days in prison.

6 . end your life/end it all to kill yourself

7 . the ... to end all ... used to describe something that is the best, most important, or most exciting of its kind:

the movie with the car chase to end all car chases

8 . the year/week etc ending something used to refer to the year etc that ends on a particular date:

the financial results for the year ending 31 Dec 2008

• • •


▪ end if a event, activity, or story ends, it stops happening:

How does the story end?


The school year ends in June.

▪ finish to end - use this about an organized event such as a meeting, party, or lesson, especially when saying what time it ends:

The meeting will finish at 5.30.


What time does your Spanish class finish?

▪ be over if an event, activity, or period of time is over, it has ended:

I can’t wait for our exams to be over.


The long summer vacation was almost over.

▪ come to an end to finally end – used about a period of time, a situation, or an activity that has continued for a long time:

The war finally came to an end six years later.

▪ draw to an end/to a close written to end gradually over a period of time – used in written descriptions:

These problems still remained as the twentieth century drew to an end.

▪ time is up if time is up, you are not allowed any more time to do something:

I wasn’t able to finish the test before the time was up.

▪ time runs out if time runs out, there is no more time available to do something, especially something important:

The desperate search for survivors continues, but time is running out.

▪ expire formal if a ticket, bank card, legal document etc expires, the period of time during which you can use it has ended:

I’m afraid we can’t accept this credit card – it expired last week.

▪ be at an end if something is at an end, it has ended:

We both knew that our marriage was at an end.


The long wait was at an end.

end in something phrasal verb

1 . to finish in a particular way:

One in three marriages ends in divorce.

2 . it’ll (all) end in tears British English spoken used to say that something will have a bad result or not be successful

end up phrasal verb

to be in a particular situation, state, or place after a series of events, especially when you did not plan it:

He came round for a coffee and we ended up having a meal together.

I wondered where the pictures would end up after the auction.

end up doing something

Most slimmers end up putting weight back on.

end up with

Anyone who swims in the river could end up with a nasty stomach upset.

end up as

He could end up as President.

end up like

I don’t want to end up like my parents.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.