In this volume, the Quaternary Subcommission of the German Stratigraphic Commission presents a description of the major stratotypes and stratigraphical terms for the Quaternary in Germany, focusing on climatostratigraphical terms that relate to cold and warm stages and have been incorporated into a regional chronostratigraphy. The fi rst step was the compilation of the Stratigraphical Table of Germany 2002 (STD 2002) (DEUTSCHE STRATIGRAPHISCHE KOMMISSION 2002), which attempts to correlate Quaternary stratigraphy on the global chronostratigraphical scale with that of northwestern Europe, northern Germany, the northwestern and the northeastern Alps. The STD 2002 (Quaternary) takes into account the continental palaeoclimatological classifi cation into glacials and interglacials (for explanations, see LITT et al. 2005). While compiling the Quaternary table, we became aware of the diffi culties involved in using traditional stratigraphical terms whose meanings have shifted over time or which are even regionally heterochronous (in the Alpine forelands, for instance). It was imperative to review the situation, taking the historical evolution of Quaternary stratigraphy into account. Hence, this terminological description does not intend to be “prescriptive”, but to refl ect the current debate. It includes paragraphs on Defi nition, First description, Type locality, Distribution, Dating, as well as a Comments section addressing current problems. The present volume primarily considers the stratigraphical terms relating to the Quaternary of the north German glaciation area and the south German Alpine foreland that are also used in the STD 2002 (Quaternary). In addition, some important climatostratigraphical terms from the periglacial area are described, as well as terms from mammal palaeontology. Lithostratigraphic terms were not included here. The Quaternary Subommission is presently compiling a lithostratigraphic lexicon to be published at a later date.