Definition of terminator in US English:



  • 1A person or thing that terminates something.

    • ‘Techniques intended to monitor foetal health became terminators of the female foetus.’
    • ‘In the end, I chose an electronic insect terminator, and I am not unhappy!’
    • ‘The public is given a fearful impression with images of Frankenstein foods, killer tomatoes, and terminator seeds.’
    • ‘By now the entire band of survivors, including some new recruits, are regular gun toting, axe wielding, shoot 'em, chop 'em up zombie terminators.’
    • ‘The would-be tax terminator has chosen as his chief economics adviser a tax perpetuator.’
    • ‘I have been thinking about the visceral appeal of a terminator, the man of violence and certainty who will end things as they are and bring about a new world that looks as fresh and bright as the world of childhood.’
    murderer, killer, executioner, gunman, butcher, slaughterer, liquidator, exterminator
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    1. 1.1Astronomy The dividing line between the light and dark part of a planetary body.
      • ‘Looking along the line separating the bright and dark halves (the terminator line), at you can make out a decently prominent crater near the top of the lower quarter.’
      • ‘Anyone standing on the surface of the moon would see the sun gradually rise as the terminator passes them and the area goes from dark to light.’
      • ‘The terminator of the planet was visible at it's edge, and some artificial light brightened the thickening dusk on the night side.’
    2. 1.2Biochemistry A sequence of polynucleotides that causes transcription to end and the newly synthesized nucleic acid to be released from the template molecule.
      • ‘Nine of the 11 positions between the coding region and the terminator, which is cleaved from the nascent transcript during tRNA maturation, are variable.’
      • ‘If transcription through such DNA regions is impeded by means of a transcription terminator or by shutting off the promoter, hyperrecombination is abolished.’
      • ‘In wild-type chromosomes, these proteins are confined to the heterochromatic DNA sequences either by terminator sequences or by proximally directed initiators.’
      • ‘The upstream rRNA transcription terminator and a hairpin structure downstream of recD, which might work as a transcription terminator, are shown.’