term Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Definition of “term” - English Dictionary

Definition of "term" - American English Dictionary

See all translations

termnoun [C]

 us   /tɜrm/

term noun [C] (TIME)

a ​period of ​time during which something ​lasts: Watson’s term as ​chairmanexpired last ​month. He ​served a ​prison term for robbery. This ​budgetplan is good for the ​long term but it ​hurts in the ​short term. A term can be one of the ​periods into which a ​year is ​divided at a ​school or ​college: I’m taking ​computer programming during the ​fall term.

term noun [C] (EXPRESSION)

a word or phrase used in ​relation to a ​particularsubject: Erikson is said to have ​coined the term "​identitycrisis." mathematics A term is also any ​number, variable (= ​symbol), or product (= ​result of mutiplying).

termverb [T]

 us   /tɜrm/

term verb [T] ()

to give something a ​name or to ​describe it with a ​particularexpression: None of the ​problems was termed ​serious.
(Definition of term from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Definition of "term" - British English Dictionary

See all translations


uk   /tɜːm/  us   /tɝːm/

term noun (TIME)

[C] the ​fixedperiod of ​time that something ​lasts for: He served a ​short term fordrunkdriving. He was sentenced to a 150-year ​prison term for ​cheating thousands of ​ordinarypeople out of ​theirsavings. The government's term of ​office (= the ​period in which they have ​power)expires at the end of the ​year.A2 [C] one of the ​periods into which a ​year is ​divided at ​school, ​college, or ​university: In ​Britain, the ​spring term ​starts in ​January and ​ends just before ​Easter.US Our ​college has three terms that we ​calltrimesters.UK We're very ​busy in term-​time (= during the term). [C] formal the ​period of ​time that a ​legalagreementlasts for: The ​lease on ​ourhouse is near the end of ​its term. [U] specialized biology the end of a ​pregnancy when a ​baby is ​expected to be ​born: Her last ​pregnancy went to term (= the ​baby was ​born after the ​expectednumber of ​weeks). a full-term ​pregnancyin the long/medium/short term B2 for a ​long, ​medium, or ​shortperiod of ​time in the ​future: This ​decision will ​cost us more in the ​short term, but will be ​beneficial in the ​long term.
More examples

term noun (DESCRIPTION)

B2 [C] a word or ​expression used in ​relation to a ​particularsubject, often to ​describe something ​official or ​technical: "Without ​let or ​hindrance" is a ​legal term that ​means "​freely".term of abuse an ​unkind or ​unpleasantname to ​call someoneterm of endearment a ​kind or ​friendlyname to ​call someonein terms of/in ... terms B2 used to ​describe which ​particulararea of a ​subject you are ​discussing: In ​financial terms, the ​project was not a ​success. In terms of ​money, I was ​better off in my last ​job.in no uncertain terms C2 in a very ​clear way: She told him what she ​thought of his ​behaviour in no ​uncertain terms (= she made her ​disapproval very ​clear).in strong, etc. terms using ​language that ​clearlyshowsyourfeelings: He ​complained in the ​strongest terms. She ​spoke of his ​achievements in glowing terms (= in a very ​approving way).
More examples

term noun (RULES)

terms B2 [plural]
More examples
the ​conditions that ​control an ​agreement, ​arrangement, or ​activity: terms ofemployment Under the terms oftheircontract, ​employees must give three ​months' ​notice if they ​leave.
on easy terms UK If you ​buy something on ​easy terms, you ​pay for it over a ​period of ​time.on equal terms (also on the same terms) having the same ​rights, ​treatment, etc.: All ​companies will ​compete for the ​governmentcontract on ​equal terms.terms of reference formal the ​matters to which a ​study or ​report is ​limited

termverb [T]

uk   /tɜːm/  us   /tɝːm/
to give something a ​name or to ​describe it with a ​particularexpression: Technically, a ​horse that is ​smaller than 1.5 ​metres at the ​shoulder is termed a ​pony.


uk   /-tɜːm/  us   /-tɝːm/
long/medium/short-term lasting a ​long/​medium/​shorttime: The ​project will have ​long-termbenefits.
(Definition of term from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

Definition of "term" - Business English Dictionary

See all translations


uk   us   /tɜːm/
[C] the ​period of ​time that something lasts for: Friendly ​societybondsrun for a ​minimum term of 10 ​years. They ​proposed to ​increase the term of ​copyright. The ​currentinterestrate of 7.75% is ​fixed for the term of the ​loan. Conventional ​gilts promise to ​pay a ​fixedincome 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 ​seekingbonds with a term of 10 ​years.
[C or U] the end of a ​period of ​time, for ​example when an ​agreementends: The ​endowedfund 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 ​laborlaw. 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 ​agreedcompensation 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 ​mergeragreement, the ​company becomes a wholly ​ownedsubsidiary 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 ​salesstaff.
in real terms used to describe the ​reallevel or ​amount of something, when you consider all the things that affect it, especially ​inflation: In the past 10 ​years, ​grossincome 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, ​stockpricesrose 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 ​shortperiod of ​time in the future: In the ​long term, universities will ​cutjobs. The ​businessseeks 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 ​localcompanies.

termverb [T]

uk   us   /tɜːm/
to use a particular word or expression to describe something: term sth sth The ​CEOspent the past ​year on what he termed "gardening ​leave".term sb sth Some ​people might term her ​mean.term sth as sth He ​sought to ​play down what he termed as "mere ​speculation".
(Definition of term from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of term?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“term” in Business English

Word of the Day
public school

in England, an expensive type of private school (= school paid for by parents not by the government)

Word of the Day