1. The extreme or last point or part of any material thing considered lengthwise (the extremity of breadth being side); hence, extremity, in general; the concluding part; termination; close; limit; as, the end of a field, line, pole, road; the end of a year, of a discourse; put an end to pain; opposed to beginning, when used of anything having a first part. "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof." (Eccl. Vii. 8)
2. Point beyond which no procession can be made; conclusion; issue; result, whether successful or otherwise; conclusive event; consequence. "My guilt be on my head, and there an end." (Shak) "O that a man might know The end of this day's business ere it come!" (Shak)
3. Termination of being; death; destruction; extermination; also, cause of death or destruction. "Unblamed through life, lamented in thy end." (Pope) "Confound your hidden falsehood, and award either of you to be the other's end." (Shak) "I shall see an end of him." (Shak)
4. The object aimed at in any effort considered as the close and effect of exertion; ppurpose; intention; aim; as, to labour for private or public ends. "Losing her, the end of living lose." (Dryden) "When every man is his own end, all things will come to a bad end." (Coleridge)
<anatomy> End bulb, one of the two plates of a jewel in a timepiece; the part that limits the pivot's end play. Ends of the earth, the remotest regions of the earth. In the end, finally. On end, upright; erect. To the end, in order. To make both ends meet, to live within one's income. To put an end to, to destroy.
Origin: OE. & AS. Ende; akin to OS. Endi, D. Einde, eind, OHG. Enti, G. Ende, Icel. Endir, endi, Sw. Ande, Dan. Ende, Goth. Andeis, Skr. Anta. Cf. Ante-, Anti-, Answer.
(01 Mar 1998)
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