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At an end vs At the end

at an end

1. said of smth. used up or exhausted:

  • I must warn you that my patience is almost at an end.

2. be finished; be over:

  • When a checkmate is obtained, the game is at an end.

at the end

1. in the last part of smth.:

  • I think the film’s a bit weak at the end.

2. in the farthest part of smth.:

  • The tube is very short and closed at the end.

Note: The expression is not equivalent in meaning to the phrase in the end

1. finally; ultimately:

  • Three months were spent in the drafting of a document which in the end was rejected.

2. taking one thing with another; as things turn out:

  • In the end, boys and girls don’t communicate the same way.