Definition of terminus in US English:



  • 1A final point in space or time; an end or extremity.

    ‘the exhibition's terminus is 1962’
    • ‘Divorce proved the terminus of a third of marriages (and fewer couples were getting legally married anyway).’
    • ‘Extremely steep slopes encircle the northwestern terminus of the ravine and conglomeratic sandstone slump boulders lie on the lower elevations of the ravine.’
    • ‘When the Illinois and Michigan Canal was built, its southern terminus was at Peru to assure the best steamboat connection.’
    • ‘Albany, New York, the canal's eastern terminus, became the nation's major wholesale lumber mart.’
    • ‘In 1913, Charles Sprague wrote that ‘the balance sheet may be considered as the groundwork of all accountancy, the origin and the terminus of every account’.’
    • ‘‘The rate of housing increases at the southern terminus of the migration route is in direct proportion to the number of gas wells that are being drilled,’ Berger said.’
    • ‘On that day the largest flood in living memory swept from the terminus (bottom end) of Skeidarár Glacier.’
    • ‘But it may not be a proper concession if the terminus is at the end of each trial day, so we will just have to check that.’
    • ‘Extend their thinking to its logical conclusion and you end up at the same dread terminus, with inquisitions, witch-burnings, religious brainwashing and the divinely ordained subjugation of women, homosexuals and infidels.’
    • ‘This arch marks the western terminus of an interior corridor that has as its eastern terminus the door with the herms.’
    • ‘‘The beginning and end of each day take place in the bath, so this space is a terminus and a beginning,’ he says.’
    • ‘At the terminuses of these drainages, thousands of icebergs - many of monstrous size - are formed every year.’
    • ‘The absolute end of the earth, the terminus of an equator of cool that wraps around the globe and begins in New York.’
    1. 1.1Biochemistry The end of a polypeptide or polynucleotide chain or similar long molecule.
      • ‘In reality, the deformation is probably smaller in magnitude, due to stabilizing interactions between the polar termini of the peptide and the polar lipid headgroups.’
      • ‘Although it is not possible to be certain, due to the small size of the system studied, this difference may be due to the differences in the amino acid sequence at the peptide termini.’
      • ‘The dashed vertical line indicates the end of the amino terminus and the beginning of the helicase domain.’
      • ‘In water, however, the helical structure is retained only in the termini of the peptide, and is completely lost in its center.’
      • ‘The protection of the chromosome end arguably depends on the structure of the telomeric terminus - the absolute end of the chromosome.’
      • ‘For many viruses, a small segment of the fusion protein usually located at the N terminus of the fusion protein is responsible for the early stage in the membrane fusion process.’
      • ‘Unfolding occurs primarily from the termini of the protein, with both secondary and tertiary structure being maintained for much longer in the course of unfolding than is the case for simulations of thermal unfolding.’
  • 2British The end of a railroad or other transportation route, or a station at such a point; a terminal.

    • ‘The great Victorian railway termini of London give rise to lines that snake out across the city atop stolid red-brick viaducts.’
    • ‘Moreover, what building could better symbolise Britain's territorial expansion in the industrial age than the world's first purpose-built railway terminus?’
    • ‘And resurfacing is also in progress on the old bus station site which is to become a car park to replace the spaces taken up by the new terminus.’
    • ‘The virus has spread from airports and railway terminuses to the major cities now.’
    • ‘We are building a new toilet block at the western end of the bus terminus.’
    • ‘The rails will be a permanent reminder of the heyday of the station as a thriving terminus.’
    • ‘This station is an attempt to resemble a London railway terminus, complete with the see-through roof and the space.’
    • ‘Mr Fee said the road was being planned with ‘utter indifference’ to where or when a major rail terminus along its route might lie.’
    • ‘The covered part of what was the railway terminus has become the waiting lounge, it is decked out like an airport departure lounge, well I suppose really it is.’
    • ‘The visibility of such people in London railway termini or at suburban stations made them very noticeable to contemporaries.’
    • ‘The station had opened as both a through and a terminus stations.’
    • ‘The metro central terminus is planned to be located close to the City Railway Station.’
    • ‘They target busy areas such as bus terminuses, shopping complexes, government hospitals and those close to the Collectorate.’
    • ‘The final block has a taxi rank, a bus terminus, hawkers' stalls and space for retailers and wholesalers.’
    • ‘When we got to this terminus station, our train remained on the right-side track.’
    • ‘To appreciate the usefulness of the atlas, the reader needs to follow particular railroad routes between important termini.’
    • ‘At one time his father had a pub and grocery business, situated near a large Dublin railway terminus.’
    • ‘The plan will also incorporate the relocation of the college and its link with a new bus terminus with Keighley station.’
    • ‘On Monday, the first day of full commercial operation, we went looking for the southern terminus of the sleek new Hiawatha light-rail line.’
    • ‘Imagine this - a service that has large parking lots at its terminus stations, clean trains, and decent reliability.’
    station, last stop, end of the line, terminal
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 An oil or gas terminal.
  • 3Architecture
    A figure of a human bust or an animal ending in a square pillar from which it appears to spring, originally used as a boundary marker in ancient Rome.


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘final point in space or time’): from Latin, ‘end, limit, boundary’.