Meaning of TERMINAL in English


I. ˈtərmən ə l, ˈtə̄m-, ˈtəim-, -mnəl adjective

Etymology: Latin terminalis, from terminus boundary, end + -alis -al — more at term


a. : of or relating to an end, extremity, boundary, or terminus

terminal pillar

b. : growing at the end of a branch or stem

terminal bud

— compare lateral

c. : of or relating to either end of a transport line

terminal airport

freight pickup is a terminal service

terminal charge


a. : of or relating to a fixed period of time : occurring in a term or each term

terminal examinations

terminal payments

b. : relating to or constituting a term in a proposition or equation

terminal quantity

c. : occurring at or contributing to the end of life

terminal pneumonia

terminal cancer


a. : occurring at or constituting the end of a closed series : concluding , final

terminal syllable

: ultimate

terminal problems

b. of an educational institution or program : constituting an entity that is limited but complete : leading to an end which may but need not be a step to further education

the modern junior college, besides preparing some of its students for the four-year college, has a terminal curriculum

c. : at or near the end of a chain of atoms constituting a molecule

a terminal hydroxyl group

terminal bonds

Synonyms: see last

II. noun

( -s )

1. : a part that forms the end : end , extremity , termination

2. : a letter, sound, syllable, or word, forming a termination

3. : a terminating and usually ornamental detail : finial

4. : a device attached to the end of a wire or cable or to a piece of electrical apparatus for convenience in making connections — see lightning arrester illustration

5. : an apical growth on a plant


a. : either end of a carrier line (as a railroad, trucking or shipping line, or airline) with classifying yards, dock and lighterage facilities, management offices, storage sheds, and freight and passenger stations

b. : a freight or passenger station that is central to a considerable area or serves as a junction at any point with other lines

c. : a town or city at the end of a carrier line : terminus

III. adjective

1. : approaching or close to death : being in the final stages of a fatal disease

a terminal patient

2. : extremely or excessively severe

terminal boredom

IV. noun

: a combination of a keyboard and output device (as a video display unit) by which data can be entered into or output from a computer or electronic communications system

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.