Sign up ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is the difference between terminology and nomenclature?

If I want to say that I use the same words with the exact same meaning as author X, what would you say?

  • "We use the same terminology as author X"


  • "We use the same nomenclature as author X"
share|improve this question

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I see very little difference between the two:

terminology |ˌtərməˈnäləjē| noun ( pl. -gies) the body of terms used with a particular technical application in a subject of study, theory, profession, etc. : the terminology of semiotics | specialized terminologies for higher education.

nomenclature |ˈnōmənˌklā ch ər| noun the devising or choosing of names for things, esp. in a science or other discipline. • the body or system of such names in a particular field : the nomenclature of chemical compounds.formal the term or terms applied to someone or something : “customers” was preferred to the original nomenclature “passengers.”

Based on these definitions from NOAD, terminology seems a little broader, that is all, while nomenclature seems more systematic and deliberate.

share|improve this answer

share|improve this answer
this answer isn't very informative besides doing the googling for the OP.... – bcc32 Apr 9 '11 at 12:23
Well, those two articles explain the difference very well, I believe. – Vladislav Rastrusny Apr 9 '11 at 13:02
Could you then please quote or paraphrase what the difference is, and, accordingly, tell us which of the two example sentences you would use. – davitenio Apr 9 '11 at 13:14
As I understand, terminology applies primarily to "words and compound words that are used in specific contexts. And nomenclature is more broad "system of principles, procedures and terms related to naming". At least this is how I understand the difference since in Russian we have two same terms with the same meaning. – Vladislav Rastrusny Apr 9 '11 at 13:31

There isn't any difference in meaning between the two example sentences but the two words have some different uses, for example, nomenclature can also refer to a single term or name and terminology can also mean 'nomenclature as a field of study'.

share|improve this answer

Process versus result maybe? Nomenclature as a way of devising names, where these names then form a terminology for a given field.

share|improve this answer
Welcome to EL&U. Please note that this is not a discussion forum, but a Q&A site, and answers are expected to be definitive. I encourage you to take the site tour and review the help center to learn more. – choster Nov 25 '14 at 17:34

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.