A consensus system for classification of mouse lymphoid neoplasms according to their histopathologic and genetic features has been an elusive target for investigators involved in understanding the pathogenesis of spontaneous cancers or modeling human hematopoietic diseases in mice. An international panel of scientists with expertise in mouse and human hematopathology joined with the hematopathology subcommittee of the Mouse Models for Human Cancers Consortium to develop criteria for definition and classification of these diseases together with a standardized nomenclature. The fundamental elements contributing to the scheme are clinical features, morphology, immunophenotype, and genetic characteristics. The resulting classification has numerous parallels to the World Health Organization classification of human lymphoid tumors while recognizing differences that may be species specific. The classification should facilitate communications about mouse models of human lymphoid diseases.