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 That's an outdated term that no one uses anymore.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

This will be the largest and most competitive Women’s World Cup ever in terms of competition, prize money, marketing, sponsorships and projected attendance. Alicia Delgallo, Pro Soccer USA, "USWNT ready for title fight as FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off in France," 8 June 2019 This area is set to change extensively if the new LACMA gets built and once the new Metro comes in, in terms of what crowdflow into this space will be like. Julia Wick, latimes.com, "Essential California: A new face for the La Brea Tar Pits on a changing Wilshire Boulevard," 7 June 2019 All the stars make appearances, and although little really changes in terms of storyline, the show is good enough to send the crowd home happy. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "First-Ever Meeting of Icons Failed to Deliver: Takeaways from WWE’s Super ShowDown," 7 June 2019 Their legs are straight under their bodies, not out to the side like a crocodile, and that might have given them a little bit of an advantage in terms of speed. Washington Post, "Meet the biggest and smallest dinosaurs in the Smithsonian’s redesigned exhibit," 7 June 2019 But in terms of the enhanced sense of self, this may be a helicopter ride to the top of the mountain, while those on the meditation path are hiking up. The Economist, "Magic mushrooms, illegal in most places, may have therapeutic uses," 7 June 2019 Based on the three episodes previewed, so far, so pretty good in terms of justifying another dreamy drive up the California coast. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Big Little Lies' receives big boost from Meryl Streep," 6 June 2019 Obviously what President Trump has done in terms of pushing forward on a tariff has brought them to the table. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "Talks with Mexico continue without clear targets for avoiding tariffs," 6 June 2019 Apple isn't thinking about the Mac Pro in terms of selling it to consumers—not even power users. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Our first-look photos of Apple’s new Mac Pro and the Pro Display XDR," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Diamondbacks, who already were without several everyday players, lost right fielder Adam Jones to what the team termed right hamstring tightness. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Same old blues: Diamondbacks still can't solve Dodgers puzzle," 5 June 2019 Into the swamps Mangrove swamps are ecosystems that develop thanks to a number of species of salt-tolerant trees, collectively termed mangroves, that flourish in the tropics. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "More mangroves? Economies recover faster after tropical cyclones," 4 June 2019 Four candidates are running to replace San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn, who will be termed-out this year after having spent 23 years representing District 5, which covers much of the North County from Carlsbad and Oceanside to Borrego Springs. J. Harry Jones, sandiegouniontribune.com, "5th District Board of Supervisors: Candidate profiles," 31 May 2018 Quantum key distribution in less than 500 words The goal of quantum key distribution is to generate a random number that is securely shared between two people, always termed Alice and Bob. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Conservation of energy used to parallelize quantum key distribution," 17 Dec. 2018 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

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

11 Jun 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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