term

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
6
a
: 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)
7
a
: 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

term

2 of 2

verb

termed; terming; terms

transitive verb

: to apply a term to : call, name
Phrases
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

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 That's an outdated term that no one uses anymore.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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
What is the loan availability and terms, if available? Alissa Jubelirer, Rolling Stone, 15 Apr. 2024 That includes an $8 million dollar loan the banking and real estate mogul made to fund his effort to deny Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin a third term. Jessie Opoien, Journal Sentinel, 15 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for term 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'term.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

1545, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near term

Cite this Entry

“Term.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/term. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

term

1 of 2 noun
1
2
: a fixed period of time
especially : the time for which something lasts : duration
served two terms
the new school term
3
plural : conditions that limit the nature and scope of something (as an agreement)
could not accept their terms
4
a
: a word or expression that has an exact meaning in some uses or is limited to a particular field
legal terms
b
plural : words of a particular kind
spoke in glowing terms
5
a
: a mathematical expression (as 3x in x2 + 3xy) connected to another by a plus or a minus sign
b
: an element (as a numerator) of a fraction or proportion
6
plural
a
: personal relationship
on good terms with the neighbors
b
: agreement sense 1b
come to terms after much compromise
c
: a state of acceptance or understanding
came to terms with not making the team

term

2 of 2 verb
: to apply a term to : call, name

Medical Definition

term

1 of 2 noun
: the time at which a pregnancy of normal length terminates
had her baby at full term

term

2 of 2 adjective
: carried to, occurring at, or associated with full term
a term infant
term births

Legal Definition

term

noun
often attributive
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
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

More from Merriam-Webster on term

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