Credit spreads typically compare two bonds of the same maturity. For example, a 10-year US Treasury yielding 3% might be compared to a Corporate Bond yielding 4.5% and we'd say the spread was 1.5%.
However, when people talk about inverted yield curves predicting recessions they talk about comparisons like the US10Y-US2Y yield spread.
Is it accurate to call a comparison of yields between to different maturities a spread? And if so, what's the proper way to distinguish a spread that doesn't match maturities to a spread the more typical spread that does match maturities? Does the difference as to which type of spread one is talking about infer one is speaking about different risks?