I UK [tɜː(r)m] / US [tɜrm] noun
Word forms "term":
singular term plural terms
a) [countable] a word or phrase used for referring to something

a technical/medical/legal/scientific term

In simple terms, you need more exercise.

The president condemns terrorism in the strongest possible terms.

coin a term (= create a new term):

Darwin originally coined the term "natural selection".

b) [countable, often plural] a word or phrase used as a name or for describing someone

All his teachers speak of him in glowing terms.

a term of endearment:

We called our daughter "Princess" as a term of endearment.

2) terms
[plural] used for saying which aspects of something you are considering or including

In practical terms, this change is unlikely to affect many people.

in political/economic/artistic terms

in terms of:

The savings, both in terms of time and money, could be considerable.

a) [countable] one of the periods of time into which the year is divided for students. In the UK, there are usually three terms: the autumn term, the spring term, and the summer term

What classes are you taking this term?

the end of term:

How many weeks is it till the end of term?

term time:

He trains five times a week during term time.

b) [countable, usually singular] a period of time during which a government, court, or other official organization regularly meets

The Supreme Court's term always begins in October.

4) [countable] a period of time during which a politician or other official holds their job

In 1988 he was re-elected for a five-year term.

term of/in office:

Her term of office ends in September.

5) [countable] the period of time that someone must spend in prison

She's serving a 15-year term.

prison/jail term:

He received a prison term of six months.

6) [countable] a period of time that a legal, business, or financial agreement lasts

Finance costs are collected over the term of the loan.

fixed term:

I was employed on a fixed-term contract of two years.

a) [uncountable] medical the end of the period of time that a woman is pregnant

She worried that she could not carry a child to term.

a full-term baby/pregnancy

b) formal the end of the period of time that something lasts, especially a legal, business, or financial agreement
8) [countable] maths a number or symbol used in a calculation in mathematics
a) terms
[plural] the conditions of a legal, business, or financial agreement that the people making it accept

He had little choice but to accept their terms.

term of:

We have agreed the terms of the lease.

under the terms of something:

The committee was set up under the terms of a voluntary agreement.

terms and conditions:

Do you agree to these terms and conditions?

negotiate terms:

He negotiated the terms for their release from prison.

b) the conditions you accept when you buy or sell something

His terms are very reasonable.

on easy terms (= paying small amounts over a long time):

The bank makes loans on easy terms.

come to terms (with someone) — to make an agreement, or to end an argument with someone

They had somehow to come to terms.

on equal/the same terms — in a situation in which two people or groups have the same advantages or disadvantages

compete on equal terms:

Athletes need to know they are competing on equal terms.

be on good/bad/friendly etc terms — to have a good, bad, or friendly relationship with someone

He's still on friendly terms with his first wife.

I'm on friendly terms with my ex-wife.

They are on first-name terms (= they call each other by their first names).

on your (own) terms — according to your conditions

She wanted the relationship to be all on her terms.


II UK [tɜː(r)m] / US [tɜrm] verb [transitive, often passive]
Word forms "term":
present tense I/you/we/they term he/she/it terms present participle terming past tense termed past participle termed
to use a particular word or phrase to describe or refer to someone or something

One critic termed him "the finest essayist in the United States".

Some of our victories this season could be termed lucky.

English dictionary. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Term — Term, n. [F. terme, L. termen, inis, terminus, a boundary limit, end; akin to Gr. ?, ?. See {Thrum} a tuft, and cf. {Terminus}, {Determine}, {Exterminate}.] 1. That which limits the extent of anything; limit; extremity; bound; boundary. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • term — n often attrib 1: a specified period of time the policy term 2: the whole period for which an estate is granted; also: the estate itself 3 a: the period in which the powers of a court may be validly exercised b …   Law dictionary

  • Term — may refer to: *Term (computers) or terminal emulator, a program that emulates a video terminal *Term (language) or terminology, a word or compound word used in a specific context *Term (mathematics), a component of a mathematical expression… …   Wikipedia

  • Term — Term, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Termed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Terming}.] [See {Term}, n., and cf. {Terminate}.] To apply a term to; to name; to call; to denominate. [1913 Webster] Men term what is beyond the limits of the universe imaginary space. Locke.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • term — ► NOUN 1) a word or phrase used to describe a thing or to express a concept. 2) (terms) language used on a particular occasion: a protest in the strongest possible terms. 3) (terms) stipulated or agreed requirements or conditions. 4) (terms)… …   English terms dictionary

  • term — term1 [tʉrm] n. [ME terme < OFr < L terminus, a limit, boundary, end < IE * termṇ, a boundary stake < base * ter , to cross over, go beyond > TRANS , Gr terma, goal] 1. Archaic a point of time designating the beginning or end of a… …   English World dictionary

  • term — [n1] description of a concept appellation, article, caption, denomination, designation, expression, head, indication, language, locution, moniker*, name, nomenclature, phrase, style, terminology, title, vocable, word; concepts 275,683 term [n2]… …   New thesaurus

  • term — (n.) early 13c., terme limit in time, set or appointed period, from O.Fr. terme limit of time or place (11c.), from L. terminus end, boundary line, related to termen boundary, end (see TERMINUS (Cf. terminus)). Sense of period of time during… …   Etymology dictionary

  • term|er — «TUR muhr», noun. a person who is serving a term as a public official: »a fourth termer …   Useful english dictionary

  • Term — der; s, e <aus gleichbed. fr. terme, eigtl. »Grenze, Begrenzung«, dies aus (m)lat. terminus, vgl. ↑Termin>: 1. [Reihe von] Zeichen in einer formalisierten Theorie, mit der od. dem eines der in der Theorie betrachteten Objekte dargestellt… …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • term — англ. [тэ/эм] terme фр. [тэрм] termine ит. [тэ/рминэ] Terminus нем. [тэрминус] термин …   Словарь иностранных музыкальных терминов