The purpose of this paper is to summarize the author's views on precancerous lesions of the epithelium of the uterine cervix. It is pointed out that the pathologist's ability to prognosticate the outcome of any such lesion is limited. The names attached to these lesions, ranging from mild dysplasia to carcinomain situdo not necessarily reflect their true biologic potential in terms of disappearance, persistence, or progression. It is suggested that a unified nomenclature of these lesions may be helpful in clarifying the issue at hand. Comments on the accomplishments and failures of the cytologic methods of diagnosis of these lesions are appended.