Etymology: Middle English terme, from Anglo-French, from Latin terminus boundary marker, limit; akin to Greek termōn boundary, end, Sanskrit tarman top of a post
Date: 13th century
a. end, termination; also a point in time assigned to something (as a payment)
b. the time at which a pregnancy of normal length terminates <had her baby at full term> 2. a. 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. plural provisions that determine the nature and scope of an agreement ; conditions <terms of sale> <liberal credit terms> 4. a. 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. plural expression of a specified kind <described in glowing terms> 5. a. 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 6. 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> 7. any of the three substantive elements of a syllogism 8. a quadrangular pillar often tapering downward and adorned on the top with the figure of a head or the upper part of the body 9. division in a school year during which instruction is regularly given to students II. transitive verb Date: circa 1557 to apply a term to ; call, name
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.