[ turm ]
See synonyms for term on Thesaurus.com
  1. a word or group of words designating something, especially in a particular field, as atom in physics, quietism in theology, adze in carpentry, or district leader in politics.

  2. any word or group of words considered as a member of a construction or utterance.

  1. the time or period through which something lasts.

  2. a period of time to which limits have been set: elected for a term of four years.

  3. one of two or more divisions of a school year, during which instruction is regularly provided.

  4. an appointed or set time or date, as for the payment of rent, interest, wages, etc.

  5. terms,

    • conditions with regard to payment, price, charge, rates, wages, etc.: reasonable terms.

    • conditions or stipulations limiting what is proposed to be granted or done: the terms of a treaty.

    • footing or standing; relations: on good terms with someone.

    • Obsolete. state, situation, or circumstances.

  6. Algebra, Arithmetic.

    • each of the members of which an expression, a series of quantities, or the like, is composed, as one of two or more parts of an algebraic expression.

    • a mathematical expression of the form axp, axpyq, etc., where a, p, and q are numbers and x and y are variables.

  7. Logic.

    • the subject or predicate of a categorical proposition.

    • the word or expression denoting the subject or predicate of a categorical proposition.

  8. Also called terminus. a figure, especially of Terminus, in the form of a herm, used by the ancient Romans as a boundary marker; terminal figure.

  9. Law.

    • an estate or interest in land or the like, to be enjoyed for a fixed period.

    • the duration of an estate.

    • each of the periods during which certain courts of law hold their sessions.

  10. completion of pregnancy; parturition.

  11. Archaic.

    • end, conclusion, or termination.

    • boundary or limit.

verb (used with object)
  1. to apply a particular term or name to; name; call; designate.

Idioms about term

  1. bring to terms, to force to agree to stated demands or conditions; bring into submission: After a long struggle, we brought them to terms.

  2. come to terms,

    • to reach an agreement; make an arrangement: to come to terms with a creditor.

    • to become resigned or accustomed: to come to terms with one's life.

  1. eat one's terms, British Informal. to study for the bar; be a law student.

  2. in terms of, with regard to; concerning: The book offers nothing in terms of a satisfactory conclusion.

Origin of term

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English terme, from Old French, from Latin terminus “boundary, limit, end”; akin to Greek térmōn “limit”

Other words from term

  • termly, adverb
  • half-term, noun
  • in·ter·term, adjective
  • mis·term, verb (used with object)

Words Nearby term

Other definitions for term. (2 of 2)


  1. terminal.

  2. termination.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use term in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for term


/ (tɜːm) /

  1. a name, expression, or word used for some particular thing, esp in a specialized field of knowledge: a medical term

  2. any word or expression

  1. a limited period of time: his second term of office; a prison term

  2. any of the divisions of the academic year during which a school, college, etc, is in session

  3. a point in time determined for an event or for the end of a period

  4. Also called: full term the period at which childbirth is imminent

  5. law

    • an estate or interest in land limited to run for a specified period: a term of years

    • the duration of an estate, etc

    • (formerly) a period of time during which sessions of courts of law were held

    • time allowed to a debtor to settle

  6. maths either of the expressions the ratio of which is a fraction or proportion, any of the separate elements of a sequence, or any of the individual addends of a polynomial or series

  7. logic

    • the word or phrase that forms either the subject or predicate of a proposition

    • a name or variable, as opposed to a predicate

    • one of the relata of a relation

    • any of the three subjects or predicates occurring in a syllogism

  8. Also called: terminal, terminus, terminal figure architect a sculptured post, esp one in the form of an armless bust or an animal on the top of a square pillar

  9. Australian rules football the usual word for quarter (def. 10)

  10. archaic a boundary or limit

  1. (tr) to designate; call: he was termed a thief

Origin of term

C13: from Old French terme, from Latin terminus end

Derived forms of term

  • termly, adverb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for term


[ tûrm ]

  1. Each of the quantities or expressions that form the parts of a ratio or the numerator and denominator of a fraction.

  2. Any of the quantities in an equation that are connected to other quantities by a plus sign or a minus sign.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.