Meaning of TERM in English

/ tɜːm; NAmE tɜːrm/ noun , verb

■ noun

—see also terms


[ C ] a word or phrase used as the name of sth, especially one connected with a particular type of language :

a technical / legal / scientific, etc. term

a term of abuse

'Register' is the term commonly used to describe different levels of formality in language.

➡ note at word


( NAmE also tri·mes·ter ) [ C , U ] (especially in Britain) one of the three periods in the year during which classes are held in schools, universities, etc. :

the spring / summer / autumn / fall term

Many students now have paid employment during term .

( BrE )

It's nearly the end of term .

( NAmE )

the end of the term

—see also semester , termly , term-time


[ C ] a period of time for which sth lasts; a fixed or limited time :

during the president's first term of / in office

He faces a maximum prison / jail term of 25 years.

a long term of imprisonment


[ sing. ] ( formal ) the end of a particular period of time, especially one for which an agreement, etc. lasts :

the term of the loan

His life had reached its natural term.

( medical )

The pregnancy went to full term (= lasted the normal length of time) .


[ C ] ( mathematics ) each of the various parts in a series, an equation etc.


- in terms of | in ... terms

- in the long / short / medium term

—see also long-term , medium-term , short-term

■ verb

[ often passive ] ( formal ) to use a particular name or word to describe sb/sth :

[ vn - n ]

At his age, he can hardly be termed a young man.

REM sleep is termed 'active' sleep.

[also vn - adj ]



Middle English (denoting a limit in space or time, or (in the plural) limiting conditions): from Old French terme , from Latin terminus end, boundary, limit.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.