Terminology is the study of terms and their use. Terms are words and compound words that are used in specific contexts. Not to be confused with "terms" in colloquial usages, the shortened form of technical terms (or terms of art) which are defined within a discipline or specialty field. The discipline Terminology studies among other things how such terms of art come to be and their interrelationships within a culture.

Terminology therefore denotes a more formal discipline which systematically studies the "labelling or designating of concepts" particular to one or more subject fields or domains of human activity, through research and analysis of terms in context, for the purpose of documenting and promoting correct usage. This study can be limited to one language or can cover more than one language at the same time ("multilingual terminology", "bilingual terminology", and so forth) or may focus on studies of terms across fields.

Terminology is not connected to information retrieval in any way but focused on the meaning and conveyance of concepts. "Terms" (i.e. index terms) used in an information retrieval context are not the same as "terms" used in the context of terminology, as they are not always technical terms of art.


The discipline of terminology is based on its own theoretical principles and consists primarily of the following aspects:
* analysing the concepts and concept structures used in a field or domain of activity
* identifying the terms assigned to the concepts
* in the case of bilingual or multilingual terminology, establishing correspondences between terms in the various languages
* compiling the terminology, on paper or in databases
* managing terminology databases
* creating new terms, as required

Types of terminology

A distinction is made between two types of terminology:
* Ad hoc terminology, which deals with a single term or a limited number of terms
* Systematic terminology, which deals with all the terms in a specific subject field or domain of activity

Ad hoc terminology is prevalent in the translation profession, where a translation for a specific term (or group of terms) is required quickly to solve a particular translation problem.

Terminology as a discipline

As a discipline, terminology is related to translation, alongside which it is often taught in universities and translation schools. Large translation departments and translation bureaus will often have a terminology section, or will require translators to do terminology research.

**Some of this stuff is made up, as we weren't sure what to put.


Terminology is also defined by context, the study of terms primarily concerned with organizing them by the context in which they are used. These contexts may include:
* Military terminology
* Political terminology
* Religious terminology
* Scientific terminology
* Technical terminology
* Rail terminology

ee also

External links

* [http://www.ottiaq.org/ottiaq_en_bref/terminologie_en.php Terminology] from the Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec website
* cite journal
last = Muegge
first = Uwe
authorlink = Uwe Muegge
coauthors =
title = Disciplining words: What you always wanted to know about terminology management
journal = tcworld
volume =
issue = 3
pages = 17–19
publisher = tekom
date = 2007
url = http://www.tekom.de/upload/alg/tcworld_307.pdf
doi =
id =
accessdate =

* [http://www.fao.org/faoterm Faoterm] from the FAO TERMINOLOGY website
* [http://www.odlt.org The Online Dictionary of Language Terminology]
* [http://www.termsciences.fr/-/Index/Rechercher/Rapide/?lang=en_GB TermSciences, the Scientific Terminology Database]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Terminology — Ter mi*nol o*gy, n. [L. terminus term + logy: cf. F. terminologie.] 1. The doctrine of terms; a theory of terms or appellations; a treatise on terms. [1913 Webster] 2. The terms actually used in any business, art, science, or the like;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • terminology — [tʉr΄mə näl′ə jē] n. pl. terminologies [Ger terminologie < ML terminus, a term < L (see TERM2) + Ger logie, LOGY] 1. the terms or system of terms used in a specific science, art, etc.; nomenclature [lexicographer s terminology] 2. the… …   English World dictionary

  • terminology — index denomination, language, parlance, phraseology Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • terminology — (n.) 1801, from Ger. Terminologie (1786), a hybrid coined by C.G. Schütz of Jena, from M.L. terminus word, expression (see TERMINUS (Cf. terminus)) + Gk. logia a dealing with, a speaking of (see LOGY (Cf. logy)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • terminology — [n] wording choice of words, diction, jargon, language, lingo, locution, nomenclature, onomastics, phraseology, phrasing, turn of phrase, vocabulary, wordage, words; concepts 278,682 …   New thesaurus

  • terminology — ► NOUN (pl. terminologies) ▪ the body of terms used in a subject of study, profession, etc. DERIVATIVES terminological adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • terminology — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ modern, new ▪ basic, common, standard ▪ correct, proper ▪ precise …   Collocations dictionary

  • terminology — n. 1) to codify, create, establish, standardize (a) terminology 2) basic; legal; scientific; technical terminology * * * create establish legal scientific standardize (a) terminology technical terminology basic to codify …   Combinatory dictionary

  • terminology — [[t]tɜ͟ː(r)mɪnɒ̱ləʤi[/t]] terminologies N VAR: usu with supp The terminology of a subject is the set of special words and expressions used in connection with it. ...gastritis, which in medical terminology means an inflammation of the stomach …   English dictionary

  • terminology — terminological /terr meuh nl oj i keuhl/, adj. terminologically, adv. terminologist, n. /terr meuh nol euh jee/, n., pl. terminologies. 1. the system of terms belonging or peculiar to a science, art, or specialized subject; nomenclature: the… …   Universalium

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