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TermFinder - an online dictionary for students

TermFinder: online help with academic jargon


TermFinder currently contains termbanks in a number of academic disciplines:

  • Accounting
  • Building Construction
  • Genetic Biology
  • Geology
  • Statistics

TermFinder includes the core terms of each academic discipline in individual termbanks. It explains the meaning of each term in accessible language with examples of its use, and diagrams or illustrations wherever possible. The Accounting and Statistics termbanks also offer translations for all terms into Chinese Simplified (Mandarin), and audio recordings of the English term in context.


To search for a term, select the subject area it belongs to from the Discipline drop-down menu, at the top of the panel on the left. Then type the term you are looking for into the Search term box below it and click on 'Go'. If you are uncertain about the spelling, go to Search Tips in the lower left-hand panel. That way incomplete or incorrect spelling won't stop you finding the term you want.


TermFinder may find one or more pages relevant to the term you've typed in. It will bring up a list of links to those pages, and explain how they are related. The TermFinder system logs any unsuccessful searches, to show its creators what extra terms and search aids we need to add.


Translations of the full pages into eight different languages are available via Google Translate. You can select a language from the drop-down menu (Select Language) at the very bottom of the browser window, below the TermFinder page.


Once you have selected a language in GooglTranslate, TermFinder will give you the content of every page in that language, and a Googlbar will appear above the TermFinder page. On the left end of this bar, use the Translated into / View this page drop-down menu to choose another language, or the Show original button to return to the English version. The Options button at the right hand end of the bar allows you to turn off translation for the site, and also returns you to the English version.


About the TermFinder project


TermFinder is a collaborative project between Macquarie University teaching staff and dictionary experts, designed to help new students with the specialised terms used in their academic subjects. Participating staff have come from: the Department of Linguistics in the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences; the Faculty of Business and Economics; and the Faculty of Science and Technology.


A termbank in Building and Construction (ArchiTermFinder) is currently being developed in collaboration with our Spanish colleagues at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.


Feedback about TermFinder is very welcome. Please email it to TERMFINDER AT mq DOT edu DOT au.


The site is maintained by the Linguistics Department.


Biol 115 Test (2008)

Biol 115 students doing the test please click here