Some standard definitions of key terms can be found in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Polygraph Examination Regulations (10 CFR, Part 709.3):
Polygraph means an instrument that (1) Records continuously, visually, permanently, and simultaneously changes in cardiovascular, respiratory, and electrodermal patterns as minimum instrumentation standards; and (2) Is used, or the results of which are used, for the purpose of rendering a diagnostic opinion regarding the honesty or dishonesty of an individual.
Polygraph examination means a process that encompasses all activities that take place between a polygraph examiner and individual during a specific series of interactions, including the pretest interview, the use of the polygraph instrument to collect physiological data from the individual while the polygraph examiner is presenting a series of tests, the test data analysis phase, and the post-test phase.
Polygraph test means that portion of the polygraph examination during which the polygraph instrument collects physiological data based upon the individual’s responses to test questions from the examiner.
Our usage is consistent with these definitions.