The continuing development of new and fundamentally different classes of imaging spectrometers has increased the complexity of the field of imaging spectrometry. The rapid pace at which new terminology is introduced to describe the new types of imaging spectrometers sometimes leads to confusion, particularly in discussions of the relative merits of the different types. In some cases, multiple different terms are commonly used to describe the same fundamental approach, and it is not always clear when these terms are synonymous. Other terminology in common use is overly broad. When a single term may encompass instruments that operate in fundamentally different ways, important distinctions may be obscured. In the interest of clarifying the terminology used in imaging spectrometry, we present a comprehensive system for classification of imaging spectrometers based on two fundamental properties: the method by which they scan the object spatially, and the method by which they obtain spectral information.