term

noun
\ ˈtərm How to pronounce term (audio) \

Definition of term

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a word or expression that has a precise meaning in some uses or is peculiar to a science, art, profession, or subject legal terms
b terms plural : expression of a specified kind described in glowing terms
2a : a limited or definite extent of time especially : the time for which something lasts : duration, tenure term of office lost money in the short term
b : the whole period for which an estate is granted also : the estate or interest held by one for a term
c : the time during which a court is in session
3 : division in a school year during which instruction is regularly given to students
4 terms plural : provisions that determine the nature and scope of an agreement : conditions terms of sale liberal credit terms

5 terms plural

a : mutual relationship : footing on good terms
b : agreement, concord come to terms after extensive negotiations
c : a state of acceptance or understanding came to terms with the failure of his marriage
6a : the time at which a pregnancy of normal length terminates had her baby at full term
b : end, termination also : a point in time assigned to something (such as a payment)
7a : a unitary or compound expression connected with another by a plus or minus sign
b : an element of a fraction or proportion or of a series or sequence
8 : any of the three substantive elements of a syllogism
9 : a quadrangular pillar often tapering downward and adorned on the top with the figure of a head or the upper part of the body
in terms of
: with respect to or in relation to thinks of everything in terms of money
on one's own terms
: in accordance with one's wishes : in one's own way prefers to live on his own terms

term

verb
termed; terming; terms

Definition of term (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to apply a term to : call, name

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Synonyms for term

Synonyms: Noun

hitch, stint, tenure, tour

Synonyms: Verb

baptize, call, christen, clepe [archaic], denominate, designate, dub, entitle, label, name, nominate, style, title

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Examples of term in a Sentence

Noun

“I had the feeling that I had been there before.” “The term for that is ‘déjà vu.’” That's an outdated term that no one uses anymore. He spoke about them in glowing terms. The law had been understood in broad terms. The governor will run for a second term. He is currently serving his third term in the U.S. Senate. He was sentenced to a ten-year term in the state penitentiary. The term of the contract is 60 months. His grades have improved since last term. English 122 is not offered this term.

Verb

They termed the structure a “double helix.” The project was termed a success.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Weather refers to atmospheric conditions that occur in one area over short periods of time, while climate refers to the long-term regional or even global average of things like temperature, humidity and rainfall patterns. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "Everything You Need To Know About the Climate Change March," 14 Mar. 2019 Intel’s fourth quarter, traditionally the company’s strongest, capped what Intel said was a record-breaking year in terms of revenue. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel addresses processor shortages, CEO hunt after reporting disappointing fourth-quarter results," 24 Jan. 2019 Klobuchar’s path was glitterier: Yale undergrad, University of Chicago law school, a stint in corporate law before two terms as Hennepin County Attorney (the biggest public law office in Minnesota), and then her successful Senate bid. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Personable, Popular, Pragmatic: Is Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar the Democrat’s Secret Weapon?," 15 Jan. 2019 And just like last year, SpaceX continues to dominate the aerospace industry in terms of launch frequency. Loren Grush, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: SpaceX," 29 Dec. 2018 The Bush's second son, John Ellis, better known as Jeb, joined in the tradition as the governor of Florida, serving from 1999 to 2007, and in the process becoming the state's first two-term Republican senator. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "How George H.W. Bush's Extraordinary Political Career Shaped His Relationship With His Children," 5 Dec. 2018 Kate Middleton and Prince William are taking the week off from their royal duties, thanks to a half-term break that's keeping both Prince George and Princess Charlotte home for a few days. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Why Prince William and Kate Middleton Won't Be Making Any Appearances This Week," 19 Feb. 2019 Put in tangential search terms and the world is your oyster. Allison Duncan, WSJ, "The Expert’s Guide to Scoring Décor Deals Online," 14 Feb. 2019 Epic’s generous revenue terms are a game changer that will allow publishers to invest more into content creation, or pass on savings to the players. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Metro Exodus is skipping Steam for the Epic Games Store, and passing the savings on to you," 28 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Nine out of the 11 were what are termed DNA-intercalating agents. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Bacteria engage in chemical warfare against viruses," 5 Dec. 2018 Justify is about 100 pounds heavier, hence Baffert terming him the LeBron James to American Pharoah’s Michael Jordan. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Preakness 2018 preview: Justify's rapid ascent puts race favorite in same company as American Pharoah," 17 May 2018 Collectively termed metal dichalcogenides, these materials form single-molecule sheets with a hexagonal arrangement of atoms similar to graphene. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Researchers make RAM from a phase change we don’t entirely understand," 18 Dec. 2018 National City voters on Tuesday were narrowly supporting Measure B, which would establish new term limits for city officials and allow termed-out Mayor Ron Morrison to run for re-election in November, early returns show. David Hernandez, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Early results show tight race between National City Measures B, C," 6 June 2018 The researchers termed the resulting software AI Clinician. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "AIs trained to help with sepsis treatment, fracture diagnosis," 27 Oct. 2018 Scott, a Republican and former businessman who is termed out of office this year, filed his annual financial disclosure form Friday. Mary Ellen Klas, miamiherald, "Florida Gov. Rick Scott's net worth climbs $83 million in 2017," 29 June 2018 There are four types of influenza viruses, creatively termed A, B, C, and D. Influenzas A and B are responsible for seasonal epidemics in humans, and influenza A is the one that causes pandemics. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Llama “nanobodies” might grant universal flu protection," 5 Nov. 2018 Finally, someone with symptoms of bipolar disorder that don’t fit neatly into the above buckets can have what is termed Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders, the NIMH explains. 7. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "14 Facts About Bipolar Disorder That Everyone Should Know," 27 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'term.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of term

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6b

Verb

1545, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for term

Noun

Middle English terme, from Anglo-French, from Latin terminus boundary marker, limit; akin to Greek termōn boundary, end, Sanskrit tarman top of a post

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Statistics for term

Last Updated

19 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for term

The first known use of term was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for term

term

noun

Financial Definition of term

What It Is

In the finance world, a term is the length of time until a debt matures. A term can also be a condition of a deal, as evidenced by the phrase term sheet, which describes the terms of a deal.

How It Works

Let's say Company XYZ wants to borrow $1 million to build a factory. It meets with its bank, ABC Bank, to negotiate the loan. The company and the bank agree to a 10-year loan with quarterly payments and a 7% interest rate. In this case, the term is 10 years.

Why It Matters

The longer the term of a piece of debt, the lower the payments usually are. However, the interest rate may be higher due to the lender's increased risk exposure.

In the second instance, when two companies are negotiating a deal and are working through a term sheet, one term may have more influence over the deal than another and thus may create significant sticking points.

Source: Investing Answers

term

noun

English Language Learners Definition of term

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a word or phrase that has an exact meaning
: the particular kinds of words used to describe someone or something
: the length of time during which a person has an official or political office

term

verb

English Language Learners Definition of term (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give a particular name or description to (something) : to call (something) by a particular name or to describe (something) in a particular way

term

noun
\ ˈtərm How to pronounce term (audio) \

Kids Definition of term

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a word or expression that has an exact meaning in some uses or is limited to a subject or field legal terms
2 : a period of time fixed especially by law or custom a school term
3 terms plural : conditions that limit the nature and scope of something (as a treaty or a will) the terms of a contract
4 terms plural : relationship between people I'm on good terms with the neighbors.
5 : any one of the numbers in a series
6 : the numerator or denominator of a fraction

term

verb
termed; terming

Kids Definition of term (Entry 2 of 2)

: to call by a particular name “… it pleases him to be termed Emperor rather than King.”— L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz

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term

noun
\ ˈtərm How to pronounce term (audio) \

Medical Definition of term

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the time at which a pregnancy of normal length terminates had her baby at full term

term

adjective

Medical Definition of term (Entry 2 of 2)

: carried to, occurring at, or associated with full term a term infant term births

term

noun, often attributive

Legal Definition of term

1 : a specified period of time the policy term
2 : the whole period for which an estate is granted also : the estate itself
3a : the period in which the powers of a court may be validly exercised
b : session
4 : a word, phrase, or provision of import especially in determining the nature and scope of an agreement usually used in pl. the terms of the contract

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More from Merriam-Webster on term

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with term

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for term

Spanish Central: Translation of term

Nglish: Translation of term for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of term for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about term

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