end of the line

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end of the line (plural ends of the line or ends of the lines)

  1. The termination point of a railway or similar transportation system.
    • 1898, Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton, chapter 26, in The Californians:
      Sometimes she took the cable car to the end of the line, then walked to the Presidio.
  2. (idiomatic) The final cessation or discontinuance of a process, institution, or person, especially one which has existed for a considerable period of time; death.
    Synonym: end of the road
    • 1967, Tommy Faile (lyrics and music), “Phantom 309”, performed by Red Sovine:
      Well, Joe lost control, went into a skid / And gave his life to save that bunch-a kids / And there at that crossroads, was the end of the line / For Big Joe and Phantom 309
    • 2008 April 5, AP/Matthew Rosenberg, “Nepal Prepares for End of Monarchy”, in Time:
      Gyanendra's 269-year-old Shah dynasty has reached the end of the line.