Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A limited period of time.
  • n. A period of time that is assigned to a person to serve: a six-year term as senator. See Synonyms at period.
  • n. A period when a school or court is in session.
  • n. A point in time at which something ends; termination: an apprenticeship nearing its term.
  • n. The end of a normal gestation period: carried the fetus to term.
  • n. A deadline, as for making a payment.
  • n. Law A fixed period of time for which an estate is granted.
  • n. Law An estate granted for a fixed period.
  • n. A word or group of words having a particular meaning: had to explain the term gridlock.
  • n. Language of a certain kind; chosen words: spoke in rather vague terms; praised him in glowing terms.
  • n. One of the elements of a proposed or concluded agreement; a condition. Often used in the plural: offered favorable peace terms; one of the terms of the lease; the terms of a divorce settlement.
  • n. The relationship between two people or groups; personal footing: on good terms with her in-laws.
  • n. Mathematics One of the quantities composing a ratio or fraction or forming a series.
  • n. Mathematics One of the quantities connected by addition or subtraction signs in an equation; a member.
  • n. Logic Each of the two concepts being compared or related in a proposition.
  • n. A stone or post marking a boundary, especially a squared and downward-tapering pillar adorned with a head and upper torso.
  • n. An architectural or decorative motif resembling such a marker.
  • transitive v. To designate; call.
  • idiom in terms of As measured or indicated by; in units of: distances expressed in terms of kilometers as well as miles; cheap entertainment, but costly in terms of time wasted.
  • idiom in terms of In relation to; with reference to: "facilities planned and programmed in terms of their interrelationships, instead of evolving haphazardly” ( Wharton Magazine).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. limitation, restriction or regulation.
  • n. word or phrase, especially one from a specialised area of knowledge.
  • n. Relations among people.
  • n. part of a year, especially one of the three parts of an academic year.
  • n. any value (variable or constant) or expression separated from another term by a space or an appropriate character, in an overall expression or table.
  • n. duration of a set length; period in office of fixed length.
  • n. a terminal emulator, a program that emulates a video terminal
  • n. the maximum period during which the patent can be maintained into force
  • n. an essential dignity in which unequal segments of every astrological sign have internal rulerships which affect the power and integrity of each planet in a natal chart
  • n. a menstrual period.
  • v. To phrase a certain way, especially with an unusual wording.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which limits the extent of anything; limit; extremity; bound; boundary.
  • n. The time for which anything lasts; any limited time.
  • n. In universities, schools, etc., a definite continuous period during which instruction is regularly given to students.
  • n. A point, line, or superficies, that limits.
  • n. A fixed period of time; a prescribed duration.
  • n. The limitation of an estate; or rather, the whole time for which an estate is granted, as for the term of a life or lives, or for a term of years.
  • n. A space of time granted to a debtor for discharging his obligation.
  • n. The time in which a court is held or is open for the trial of causes.
  • n. The subject or the predicate of a proposition; one of the three component parts of a syllogism, each one of which is used twice.
  • n. A word or expression; specifically, one that has a precisely limited meaning in certain relations and uses, or is peculiar to a science, art, profession, or the like.
  • n. A quadrangular pillar, adorned on the top with the figure of a head, as of a man, woman, or satyr; -- called also terminal figure. See Terminus, n., 2 and 3.
  • n. A member of a compound quantity.
  • n. The menses.
  • n. Propositions or promises, as in contracts, which, when assented to or accepted by another, settle the contract and bind the parties; conditions.
  • n. In Scotland, the time fixed for the payment of rents.
  • n. A piece of carved work placed under each end of the taffrail.
  • transitive v. To apply a term to; to name; to call; to denominate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A bound; a boundary; limit; the extremity of anything, or that which limits its extent; a confine; end; termination; completion.
  • n. In geometry, the extreme of any magnitude, or that which limits or bounds its extent: as, the terms of a line are points, the terms of a superficies are lines, and the terms of a solid are superficies. See also def. 9.
  • n. Outcome; final issue.
  • n. A figure of Terminus, the god of boundaries; a terminal figure. See terminus, 3.
  • n. In ship-building, a piece of carved work placed under each end of the taffrail, and extending to the foot-rail of the balcony. Also called term-piece.
  • n. A space or period of time to which limits have been set; the time or period through which something runs its course, or lasts or is intended to last: as, he was engaged for a term of five years; his term of office has expired.
  • n. Specifically— In universities, colleges, and schools, one of certain stated periods during which instruction is regularly given to students or pupils. At the University of Cambridge, England, there arc three terms in the university year—namely, Michaelmas or October term, Lent or January term, and Easter or midsummer term. At the University of Oxford there are four terms—namely, Michaelmas, Hilary, Easter, and Trinity. In American universities and colleges there are usually three terms, beginning in September, January, and April, and called first, second, and third, or fall, winter, and spring terms respectively.
  • n. In law, the period during which a court of justice may-hold its sessions from day to day for the trial of causes; a part of the year in which the justices of the superior common-law courts of general jurisdiction hold sessions of the courts, as distinguished from vacations, during which, on religious and business grounds, attendance at the courts cannot be required from parties or witnesses. The importance of the distinction between term time and vacation, in both American and English law, is in the fact that for the just protection of the public a court can only exist and exercise its powers within the time as well as at the place prescribed by law; and, while many ministerial acts, such as the bringing of actions, and the course of pleading, the entry of judgment, the issue of process, etc., can be carried on in the clerk's office upon any secular day, actual sessions of the court itself can only be held during term time. In England, before the present judicature act, the law terms were four in number—namely, Hilary term (compare Hilarymas), beginning on the 11th and ending on the 31st of January; Easter term, from about the 15th of April to the 8th of May; Trinity term, from the 22d of May to the 12th of June; and Michaelmas term, from the 2d to the 26th of November. These have now been superseded as terms for the administration of justice by “sittings,” bearing similar names. For the High Court of Justice in London and Middlesex the Hilary sittings extend from the 11th of January to the Wednesday before Easter, the Easter sittings from the Tuesday after Easter week to the Friday before Whitsunday, the Trinity sittings from the Tuesday after Whitsun week to the 8th of August, and the Michaelmas sittings from the 2d of November to the 21st of December.
  • n. An estate or interest in land to be enjoyed for a fixed period: called more fully term of years, term for years.
  • n. The period of time for which such an estate is held.
  • n. In Scots law, a certain time fixed by authority of a court within which a party is allowed to establish by evidence his averment.
  • n. An appointed or set time.
  • n. Specifically— A day on which rent or interest is payable. In England and Ireland there are four days in the year which are called terms, or more commonly quarter-days, and which are appointed for the settling of rents—namely, Lady day, March 25th; Midsummer, June 24th; Michaelmas day, September 29th; and Christmas, December 25th. The terms in Scotland corresponding to these are Candlemas, February 2d; Whitsunday, May 15th; Lammas, August 1st; and Martinmas, November 11th. In Scotland houses are let from May 28th for a year or a period of years. The legal terms in Scotland for the payment of rent or interest are Whitsunday, May 15th, and Martinmas, November 11th, and these days are most commonly known as terms.
  • n. The day, occurring half-yearly, on which farm and domestic servants in Great Britain receive their wages or enter upon a new period of service.
  • n. The menstrual period of women.
  • n. In mathematics: The antecedent or consequent of a ratio.
  • n. In algebra, a part of an expression joined to the rest by the sign of addition, or by that of subtraction considered as adding a negative quantity.
  • n. In logic, a name, especially the subject or predicate of a proposition; also, a name connected with another name by a relation; a correlative.
  • n. Hence A word or phrase expressive of a definite conception, as distinguished from a mere particle or syncategorematic word; a word or phrase particularly definite and explicit; especially, a word or phrase used in a recognized and definite meaning in some branch of science.
  • n. plural Propositions stated and offered for acceptance; conditions; stipulations: as, the terms of a treaty; hence, sometimes, conditions as regards price, rates, or charge: as, board and lodging on reasonable terms; on one's own terms; lowest terms offered.
  • n. plural Relative position; relation; footing: with on or upon: as, to be on good or bad terms with a person.
  • n. plural State; situation; circumstances; conditions.
  • n. [Shakspere uses terms often in a loose, periphrastical way: as, “To keep the terms of my honour precise.” M. W. of W., ii. 2. 22 (that is, all that concerns my honor); “In terms of choice I am not solely led by nice direction of a maiden's eye” (that is, with respect to the choice). In other cases it is used in the sense of ‘point.’ ‘particular feature,’ ‘peculiarity’: as, “All terms of pity,” All's Well, ii. 3. 173.]
  • n. In astrology, a part of a zodiacal sign in which a planet is slightly dignified; an essential dignity.
  • n. In modes of: a common misuse as applied to modes of thought (properly, a term is opposed to an idea).
  • To name; call; denominate; designate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. name formally or designate with a term
  • n. the end of gestation or point at which birth is imminent
  • n. a word or expression used for some particular thing
  • n. (usually plural) a statement of what is required as part of an agreement
  • n. one of the substantive phrases in a logical proposition
  • n. a limited period of time
  • n. any distinct quantity contained in a polynomial
  • n. (architecture) a statue or a human bust or an animal carved out of the top of a square pillar; originally used as a boundary marker in ancient Rome

Etymologies

Middle English terme, from Old French, from Latin terminus, boundary. N., senses 4-8, from Middle English, from Medieval Latin terminus, from Late Latin, mathematical or logical term, from Latin, boundary, limit.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English terme, from Old French terme, from Latin terminus ("a bound, boundary, limit, end, in Medieval Latin also a time, period, word, covenant, etc."). (Wiktionary)

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