Ambiguity and inconsistent use of the word frozen and a number of related terms present problems in terminology describing permafrost and seasonal frost. To overcome some of these problems, the author proposes that use of the word 'frozen' be reserved exclusively for cases where at least some ice is present in the soil/water system. A new term, cryotic, is proposed to indicate that the temperature of the soil/water system is below 0 °C, without implying any phase conditions. Other terms dealt with are liquid water content, ice-rich, frost-sensitive, thaw-sensitive, frost-stable, and thaw-stable. A partially genetic terminology is proposed to describe various types of nonfrozen zones in permafrost areas.

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