What does the idiom "come to terms with" mean?

come to terms with is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression come to terms with is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "come to terms with"


The idiom “come to terms with” refers to the process of accepting a difficult situation or reconciling with an unfortunate reality. When someone “comes to terms with” something, they acknowledge it and accept it as the truth, even if it is something that makes them unhappy. This phrase can also refer to finding a compromise or agreement in a difficult situation.


The phrase “come to terms with” first appeared in the English language in the mid-19th century. It is believed to be derived from the Latin phrase “terminus” which means “end” or “boundary”. In this context, it can be interpreted as arriving at a mutual understanding or agreement that is satisfactory to both parties.


The phrase “come to terms with” is primarily used in spoken language as an idiom. It is most often used when talking about difficult emotions or difficult situations that someone must accept, such as a loss, a disappointment, or a difficult decision. It can also be used to describe finding a compromise and coming to an agreement between two parties.

Example Sentences

  • It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I had lost my job.
  • It won’t be easy, but we’ll have to come to terms with this situation sooner or later.
  • I’m sure if we keep talking, we’ll be able to come to terms with a solution that works for everyone.

The meanings of the words in the "come to terms with" idiom

From Shakespeare to Social Media: The Evolution of English Idioms

English idioms have been around for centuries, with many originating from sources like literature, mythology, and everyday life. Shakespeare, for example, coined many phrases that are still used today, such as "break the ice" and "heart of gold." Over time, new idioms have emerged, with social media and popular culture providing rich sources of inspiration. For instance, the phrase "throwing shade" came into use in the 1990s thanks to ball culture, but has since been popularized by social media.


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