A term used in generative linguistics to identify certain characteristics of the output of the syntactic component of the grammar. A terminal element or terminal symbol refers to the units employed in the syntactic representation of a sentence, after all the rules have been applied, viz. the morphemes, formatives, features, such as the, -en, +, #, man. Terminal symbols are distinguished from non-terminal (or ‘auxiliary’) elements, which are used in formulating rules. The former are usually written in lower-case letters, the latter in upper-case (e.g. NP, VP). A node which does not dominate other categories is a terminal node. A string consisting of terminal elements is known as a terminal string, i.e. the final string generated by a phrase-structure grammar.