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DEF – The part of a multiple-choice test item that sets the task, ordinarily an introductory question or incomplete statement; sometimes referred to as premise. Source
DEF – That part [of a multiple-choice question] above the alternatives.
DEF – Partie introductive d'un item à choix multiple "
"The "stem" is the introductory question or incomplete statement at the beginning of each item and this is followed by the options. The "options" consist of the answer--the correct option--and "distractors"--the incorrect but (we hope) tempting options.