General English

  • noun one of the parts of a school or university year

General Science

  • noun a mathematical expression that forms part of a fraction or proportion, is part of a series, or is associated with another by a plus or minus sign


  • noun a period of time when something is legally valid

Information & Library Science

  • noun a set or limited period of time
  • noun one of the three divisions of the academic year



  • noun a limited period of time, especially the period from conception to childbirth, or a point in time determined for an event
  • noun a name or word for a particular thing


  • noun the length of a parliament before new elections are called

Origin & History of “term”

The etymological notion underlying the word term is of a ‘limit’ or ‘boundary’, and hence of an ‘end’. It comes via Old French terme from Latin terminus ‘boundary, limit’, which was also borrowed into Welsh as terfyn ‘boundary’ and directly into English in the 17th century as terminus ‘finishing point’ (it was first applied to railway stations in the 1830s). The notion of a ‘time limit’ led to its use for a ‘period of time’, the sense in which it was first used in English; the particular application to a ‘period in which a school, law court, etc is in session’ emerged in the mid 15th century. The sense ‘word or phrase expressing a particular idea’ arose (through Greek influence) in medieval Latin from the concept of ‘limiting’ the application of an expression. Also from Latin terminus come English determine, exterminate (16th c.), terminal (15th c.), terminate (16th c.), and terminology (19th c.).