term


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Term \Term\, n. [F. terme, L. termen, -inis, terminus, a
   boundary limit, end; akin to Gr. ?, ?. See Thrum a tuft,
   and cf. Terminus, Determine, Exterminate.]
   1. That which limits the extent of anything; limit;
      extremity; bound; boundary.
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            Corruption is a reciprocal to generation, and they
            two are as nature's two terms, or boundaries.
                                                  --Bacon.
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   2. The time for which anything lasts; any limited time; as, a
      term of five years; the term of life.
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   3. In universities, schools, etc., a definite continuous
      period during which instruction is regularly given to
      students; as, the school year is divided into three terms.
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   4. (Geom.) A point, line, or superficies, that limits; as, a
      line is the term of a superficies, and a superficies is
      the term of a solid.
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   5. (Law) A fixed period of time; a prescribed duration; as:
      (a) 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.
      (b) A space of time granted to a debtor for discharging
          his obligation.
      (c) The time in which a court is held or is open for the
          trial of causes. --Bouvier.
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   Note: In England, there were formerly four terms in the year,
         during which the superior courts were open: Hilary
         term, beginning on the 11th and ending on the 31st of
         January; Easter term, beginning on the 15th of April,
         and ending on the 8th of May; Trinity term, beginning
         on the 22d day of May, and ending on the 12th of June;
         Michaelmas term, beginning on the 2d and ending on the
         25th day of November. The rest of the year was called
         vacation. But this division has been practically
         abolished by the Judicature Acts of 1873, 1875, which
         provide for the more convenient arrangement of the
         terms and vacations.
         In the United States, the terms to be observed by the
         tribunals of justice are prescribed by the statutes of
         Congress and of the several States.
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   6. (Logic) The subject or the predicate of a proposition; one
      of the three component parts of a syllogism, each one of
      which is used twice.
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            The subject and predicate of a proposition are,
            after Aristotle, together called its terms or
            extremes.                             --Sir W.
                                                  Hamilton.
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   Note: The predicate of the conclusion is called the major
         term, because it is the most general, and the subject
         of the conclusion is called the minor term, because it
         is less general. These are called the extermes; and the
         third term, introduced as a common measure between
         them, is called the mean or middle term. Thus in the
         following syllogism, 
         [1913 Webster] Every vegetable is combustible; Every
         tree is a vegetable; Therefore every tree is
         combustible, 
         [1913 Webster] combustible, the predicate of the
         conclusion, is the major term; tree is the minor term;
         vegetable is the middle term.
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   7. 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;
      as, a technical term. "Terms quaint of law." --Chaucer.
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            In painting, the greatest beauties can not always be
            expressed for want of terms.          --Dryden.
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   8. (Arch.) 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.
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   Note: The pillar part frequently tapers downward, or is
         narrowest at the base. Terms rudely carved were
         formerly used for landmarks or boundaries. --Gwilt.
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   9. (Alg.) A member of a compound quantity; as, a or b in a +
      b; ab or cd in ab - cd.
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   10. pl. (Med.) The menses.
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   11. pl. (Law) Propositions or promises, as in contracts,
       which, when assented to or accepted by another, settle
       the contract and bind the parties; conditions.
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   12. (Law) In Scotland, the time fixed for the payment of
       rents.
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   Note: Terms legal and conventional in Scotland correspond to
         quarter days in England and Ireland. There are two
         legal terms -- Whitsunday, May 15, and Martinmas, Nov.
         11; and two conventional terms -- Candlemas, Feb. 2,
         and Lammas day, Aug. 1. --Mozley & W.
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   13. (Naut.) A piece of carved work placed under each end of
       the taffrail. --J. Knowels.
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   In term, in set terms; in formal phrase. [Obs.]
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            I can not speak in term.              --Chaucer.
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   Term fee (Law)
       (a), a fee by the term, chargeable to a suitor, or by law
           fixed and taxable in the costs of a cause for each or
           any term it is in court.

   Terms of a proportion (Math.), the four members of which it
      is composed.

   To bring to terms, to compel (one) to agree, assent, or
      submit; to force (one) to come to terms.

   To make terms, to come to terms; to make an agreement: to
      agree.
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   Syn: Limit; bound; boundary; condition; stipulation; word;
        expression.

   Usage: Term, Word. These are more frequently interchanged
          than almost any other vocables that occur of the
          language. There is, however, a difference between them
          which is worthy of being kept in mind. Word is
          generic; it denotes an utterance which represents or
          expresses our thoughts and feelings. Term originally
          denoted one of the two essential members of a
          proposition in logic, and hence signifies a word of
          specific meaning, and applicable to a definite class
          of objects. Thus, we may speak of a scientific or a
          technical term, and of stating things in distinct
          terms. Thus we say, "the term minister literally
          denotes servant;" "an exact definition of terms is
          essential to clearness of thought;" "no term of
          reproach can sufficiently express my indignation;"
          "every art has its peculiar and distinctive terms,"
          etc. So also we say, "purity of style depends on the
          choice of words, and precision of style on a clear
          understanding of the terms used." Term is chiefly
          applied to verbs, nouns, and adjectives, these being
          capable of standing as terms in a logical proposition;
          while prepositions and conjunctions, which can never
          be so employed, are rarely spoken of as terms, but
          simply as words.
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.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Term \Term\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Termed; p. pr. & vb. n.
   Terming.] [See Term, n., and cf. Terminate.]
   To apply a term to; to name; to call; to denominate.
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         Men term what is beyond the limits of the universe
         "imaginary space."                       --Locke.
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