To terminate something is to bring it to an end. Period. Full stop.

In ancient Rome, Terminus was the God of landmarks, boundaries, and endings. That’s why his annual party took place at the end of the year. You can imagine the guests walking around in their togas, going, “This party is so great, I wish it would never terminate.” Nowadays, terminate can be used to refer to bringing anything to an end — including one's job or a product line: "When the Weird Food Company announces plans to terminate production of its deep-fried chocolate-covered pickle line, it will be a sad day for lovers of strange snacks."

Definitions of terminate
  1. verb
    bring to an end or halt
    “The attack on Poland terminated the relatively peaceful period after WW I”
    synonyms: end
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    begin, commence, get, get down, set about, set out, start, start out
    take the first step or steps in carrying out an action
    begin, commence, lead off, start
    set in motion, cause to start
    begin to speak, understand, read, and write a language
    have a beginning, of a temporal event
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    close out
    cause to finish a relationship with somebody
    terminate before completion
    bring to a head or to the highest point
    lift, raise
    put an end to
    ax, axe
    kill, stamp out
    end or extinguish by forceful means
    break up, dissolve
    come to an end
    break up, dissolve
    bring the association of to an end or cause to break up
    break, break off, discontinue, stop
    prevent completion
    break, interrupt
    crush out, extinguish, press out, stub out
    extinguish by crushing
    finalise, finalize, nail down, settle
    make final; put the last touches on; put into final form
    complete, finish
    come or bring to a finish or an end
    closure, cloture
    terminate debate by calling for a vote
    adjudicate, decide, dispose, resolve, settle
    bring to an end; settle conclusively
    bring to a close
    complete a business deal, negotiation, or an agreement
    phase out
    terminate gradually
    finish or terminate (meetings, speeches, etc.)
    become fractured
    finish a game in baseball by protecting a lead
    hold on, stop
    stop and wait, as if awaiting further instructions or developments
    break off, break short, cut short
    interrupt before its natural or planned end
    freeze, suspend
    stop a process or a habit by imposing a freeze on it
    bog, bog down
    get stuck while doing something
    top, top off
    finish up or conclude
    clear up, finish off, finish up, get through, mop up, polish off, wrap up
    finish a task completely
    see through
    remain with until completion
    finish out, round out
    fill out
    carry out, follow out, follow through, follow up, go through, implement, put through
    pursue to a conclusion or bring to a successful issue
    determine the result of (a competition)
    decide how much is to be paid on an insurance claim
    break up, cut off, disrupt, interrupt
    make a break in
    conclude a speech with a formal recapitulation
    accomplish, action, carry out, carry through, execute, fulfil, fulfill
    put in effect
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  2. verb
    have an end, in a temporal, spatial, or quantitative sense; either spatial or metaphorical
    “the bronchioles terminate in a capillary bed”
    synonyms: cease, end, finish, stop
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    begin, start
    have a beginning, in a temporal, spatial, or evaluative sense
    begin, start
    have a beginning characterized in some specified way
    have a beginning, of a temporal event
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    pass away
    go out of existence
    end, at least for a long time
    cut out
    cease operating
    go out
    become extinguished
    adjourn, break up, recess
    close at the end of a session
    disappear, vanish
    cease to exist
    climax, culminate
    end, especially to reach a final or climactic stage
    run out
    become used up; be exhausted
    go, run low, run short
    to be spent or finished
    disappear, go away, vanish
    become invisible or unnoticeable
    close, conclude
    come to a close
    come out, turn out
    result or end
    come to or be at an end
    come to an end
    dematerialise, dematerialize
    become immaterial; disappear
    crown, top
    be the culminating event
    clear, dissipate
    go away or disappear
    bob under
    disappear suddenly, as if under the surface of a body of water
    come out in the end
    work out
    happen in a certain way, leading to, producing, or resulting in a certain outcome, often well
    fizzle, fizzle out, peter out, taper off
    end weakly
    leave off
    come to an end, stop or cease
    expire, run out
    lose validity
  3. verb
    be the end of; be the last or concluding part of
    synonyms: end
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    cause a window or an application to disappear on a computer desktop
    type of:
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
  4. verb
    terminate the employment of; discharge from an office or position
    “The company terminated 25% of its workers”
    synonyms: can, dismiss, displace, fire, force out, give notice, give the axe, give the sack, sack, send away
    see moresee less
    employ, engage, hire
    engage or hire for work
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    make (someone) retire
    pension off
    let go from employment with an attractive pension
    clean out
    force out
    furlough, lay off
    dismiss, usually for economic reasons
    squeeze out
    force out
    dismiss, drop, send away, send packing
    stop associating with
    retire and pension (someone) because of age or physical inability
    dismiss from work
    type of:
    remove from a position or an office
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