Definition of terminal adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈtɜːmɪnl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtɜːrmɪnl//
    Being ill
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  1. 1(of an illness or a disease) that cannot be cured and will lead to death, often slowly He has terminal lung cancer. The illness is usually terminal. (figurative) She's suffering from terminal (= very great) boredom. Wordfinderacute, condition, health, medicine, outbreak, pain, recover, relapse, terminal, treatment See related entries: Being ill
  2. 2(of a person) suffering from an illness that cannot be cured and will lead to death a terminal patient
  3. 3certain to get worse and come to an end The industry is in terminal decline.
  4. 4[only before noun] (formal or specialist) at the end of something a terminal branch of a tree terminal examinations (= at the end of a course, etc.)
  5. Word Originearly 19th cent.: from Latin terminalis, from terminus ‘end, boundary’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: terminal