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English definition of “term”

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[C] the period of time that something lasts for: Friendly society bonds run for a minimum term of 10 years. They proposed to increase the term of copyright. The current interest rate of 7.75% is fixed for the term of the loan. Conventional gilts promise to pay a fixed income over a fixed term. The policy didn't reach its full term.
[C] the period of time during which someone is in a job or position, or that a government is in power: The appointments are for a fixed term of 12 months. We're in the eighth month of our term of office.
[C] FINANCE the period of time before something becomes due for payment: They are seeking bonds with a term of 10 years. →  Compare tenor
[C or U] the end of a period of time, for example when an agreement ends: The endowed fund will reach term next year.
[C] a word or expression used in relation to a particular subject, often for something official or technical: legal/medical/technical term Labor negotiations had reached an "impasse," a legal term in labor law. His favourite word was "loyal", a general term of approval. We use the term "burn-out" to mean that they grow bored and lose the drive to improve and innovate.
[C] one of the conditions of an agreement, arrangement, or activity: There may be a term in the contract that excludes this. We have agreed compensation terms. Employers know that if they do not offer attractive terms and conditions, they cannot expect to recruit the best.under the terms of an agreement/a contract/a deal Under the terms of the merger agreement, the company becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of the larger firm.
terms [plural] the conditions for payment that you agree to when you buy or sell something: Their payment terms are sixty days.on attractive/favourable/good terms The South Africans rescheduled Mozambique's debt on favourable terms.
be on good/bad/excellent terms (with sb) to have a good, etc. relationship with sb: He's on excellent terms with all of the sales staff.
in real terms used to describe the real level or amount of something, when you consider all the things that affect it, especially inflation: In the past 10 years, gross income has increased by 22% in real terms. Total expenditure will rise in real terms by 3.3% a year.
in ... terms saying something in a particular way: She made her disagreement clear, in the strongest possible terms. They spoke in glowing terms of his achievements.
in terms of sth ( also in ... terms) used to describe which particular area of a subject you are discussing: In terms of emissions cleanliness, sugar ethanol is considered superior. World-wide, stock prices rose in dollar terms. Employees evaluate their salary not in absolute terms but relative to their co-workers.
in the long/medium/short term for a long, medium or short period of time in the future: In the long term, universities will cut jobs. The business seeks to do very well in the short term and in the long term.
on equal terms (with sb/sth) having the same rights or getting the same treatment as someone else: They felt that they were not being allowed to compete on equal terms with local companies.
→  See also credit terms , delivery terms , easy terms , express term , fixed term , fleet terms , implied term , long-term , medium-term , near-term , payment terms , price terms , settlement terms , short-term , terms of employment , terms of engagement , terms of reference , terms of trade , trade terms
(Definition of term noun from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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