知识工程中的本体论是一种在人类和计算机都能理解的形式语言中定义的领域概念化 (“an ontology is an explicit specification of a conceptualization.” T. Gruber, 1993).
« An ontology is a conceptualisation of a domain to which one or several vocabularies can be associated and which participates to the meaning of terms. Defined for a given objective, an ontology expresses a point of view shared by a community. An ontology is represented in a language (explicit ontology) whose theory (semantics) guarantees the properties of the ontology in terms of consensus, coherence, sharing and reuse. » 
由一个实践社区共享，本体为定义特定领域的术语提供了可共享的统一知识背景 (术语是概念的口头指称 [ISO 1087-1: “Terminology work – Vocabulary – Part 1: Theory and application”]).
 Ontology: a survey. C.Roche. 8th Symposium on Automated Systems Based on Human Skill and Knowledge – IFAC, September 22-24 2003, Göteborg, Sweden
 Ontoterminology: How to unify terminology and ontology into a single paradigm. C.Roche. LREC 2012, Eighth international conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, Istanbul (Turkey), 21-27 May 2012, pp. 2626-2630