A term life insurance policy has a specified end date, hence the word "term". The death benefit is only paid if the insured dies during the specified term. Usually, term life policies offer higher death benefits in 6 to 7 figure amounts.
Term life can typically be converted to whole life (permanent) policies.
Most have a level death benefit, meaning the policy amount stays the same throughout the term; however, some policies have a decreasing death benefit that is ideal for mortgage protection (as the mortgage amount decreases with payments).