Sometimes, one undergoes a sequence of gruelling trials, struggles, etc., an ordeal. But eventually the ordeal is over, and one finally reaches a particular, desired state. What word adequately describes this state?

The best I could come up with was relief, upside, goal, or (reaching a) silver lining. However, none of these feel appropriate.

Here's an example: "After enduring the intolerable advertisements, the _ was in sight for Timmy: in moments, the movie would begin."

  • @ElliottFrisch That has a distinctively negative connotation; I am looking for such an expression with a positive connotation.
    – Newb
    Jan 2, 2014 at 5:10
  • Comments on an answer should be placed within the comments for that answer. (That's the only reason I can think that someone down-voted your question and left it for someone else to guess and explain why they did it.) Jan 2, 2014 at 7:27
  • You could use telos, but only if you felt like being pretentious. :)
    – starwed
    Jan 3, 2014 at 7:47

8 Answers 8


payoff: a good result; the advantage or benefit that is gained from doing something

reward: to give money or another kind of payment to (someone or something) for something good that has been done

compensation: provision of something good as a balance against something bad or undesirable; to make up for some defect or weakness

gratification: experiencing pleasure or satisfaction; pleasing, a gratifying result

  • This is closer than anything else posted yet. Particularly compensation is in the vein of the word for which I am looking.
    – Newb
    Jan 2, 2014 at 5:15
  • @Newb - um, then howsabout an upvote for my work? ;) You don't have to select it, just recognize that I tried. Jan 2, 2014 at 5:17
  • I did upvote your post. Someone else, I don't know who, appears to have downvoted your post.
    – Newb
    Jan 2, 2014 at 5:18
  • @Newb - Ah, sorry. :( Jan 2, 2014 at 5:19
  • 1
    I upvoted you for payoff which is positive and fits directly in OP's sentence.
    – Jim
    Jan 2, 2014 at 5:46

Raison d'être, meaning "purpose or reason for being" may work for you. Of course, this phrase is borrowed from French and commonly used in English.

After enduring the intolerable advertisements, Timmy's raison d'être was in sight: in moments, the movie would begin.

I have friends who grew up in Hollywood for whom this might literally be an accurate statement, in their opinions. It has the sense of describing an ultimate purpose, and not just some subsidiary purpose at a moment in time.


The "end" was in sight. They arrived at the "terminal". He could see the "goal-post"; the "finish-line". The "summit", the "peak", the "top", the "pinnacle", the "apex".

  • 1
    Yes, because the state has been attained. Jan 2, 2014 at 4:40
  • These are closer to the meaning of the desired word, but I am looking for a term with a distinctly positive connotation.
    – Newb
    Jan 2, 2014 at 5:16

I would use simple words such as the long-expected or the long-awaited was in sight ...


Use these phrases appropriately:-

  1. Light at the end of the tunnel

  2. End in sight


... eventually the ordeal is over, and one finally reaches a particular, desired state. What word adequately describes this state?


If it doesn't sound too poetic, you can try - "After enduring the intolerable advertisements, the deliverance was in sight for Timmy." Alternatively, you can use redemption/salvation.

  • Explain the reason for down-voting
    – Sandeep D
    Feb 18, 2014 at 11:28

For an ordeal, I would say "survived."

To state something more positively after going through difficulty, I would say "made it through."

  • 2
    I'm looking for a noun, not an adjective.
    – Newb
    Jan 2, 2014 at 4:11

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