I'm looking for a word or expression for a short term license for an app. Users will pay for a license to use the software for a couple of hours or days. I have considered some words but none seem to be perfect. Here are the main ones, and reservations I have about using them:


This seems to be the "correct" one, but is usually associated with a perpetual license. And therefore "3 day license" seems a bit like a contradiction, and is also a bit wordy.

Code / ID

While this is how it's implemented, and appeals to me as a software developer, it doesn't seem to describe the actual "item" being sold.


While I think this conveys the idea correctly, it seems to be a little slangy.

Permit / Ticket

Refers to a nonexistent object. Also see "Code/ID" above.


Usually means recurring.

  • 2
    Pass, permit and ticket work well.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 12:05

2 Answers 2


Use token in the sense of something that gains you access to your software for limited use (somewhat like a subway token).

  • Since a token is used and is subsequently not present, it would be troublesome later in the app's life for sentences such as "Your token still has 2 hours left". No? (Though if it weren’t for that I do admit it might sound good.)
    – ispiro
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 17:29
  • Token is an overloaded term, but in a network, a token acts like a ticket; in a security system, a token is a card that typically has an expiration.
    – Gnawme
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 19:25
  • 1
    +1 Excellent. Token is just the type of word to which a one-hour expiry could apply. (Using such a short period of time with the other words would be a little strange.) The more general word, which you used, is just access, to which any time period could also be applied. (You purchase access to something.) Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 20:05

In general, I agree with Lawrence's comment that pass would work quite well. If, however, you still feel that is a little too slangy, perhaps lease would work as well. I mean in the sense of "Etymology 6" on the wiktionary page--a license for a predefined period of time.

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