- The definition of a period is a space of time between two events or a portion of time.
- An example of period is the Renaissance era.
- An example of period is the first class of the day.
- An example of period is a female's menstrual cycle.
This statue was created during a period of time called the Renaissance.
- the interval between recurrent astronomical events, as between two full moons
- the interval between certain happenings: a ten-year period of peace
- a portion of time, often indefinite, characterized by certain events, processes, conditions, etc.; stage: a period of change, the present period
- any of the portions of time into which an event of fixed duration, as a game or a school day, is divided
- the full course, or one of the stages, of a disease
- an occurrence of menstruation; menses
- an end, completion, or conclusion, or a point of time marking this: death put a period to his plans
- Geol. a subdivision of an era in geologic time corresponding to the rock strata of a system (sense )
- Gram., Rhetoric
- a sentence, esp. a balanced, well-constructed, complex sentence
- the natural pause in speaking used to indicate the end of a declarative sentence
- the mark of punctuation (.) used to indicate the end of a declarative sentence
- the dot (.) following many abbreviations
- Math. the interval from one repetition to the next of a recurrent or self-duplicating function
- Music a group of two or more related phrases ending with a cadence
- Physics the interval of time necessary for a regularly recurring motion to make a complete cycle
- Prosody a rhythm group of two or more cola in the Greek system
Origin of periodMiddle English paryode ; from Middle French periode ; from Classical Latin periodus ; from Classical Greek periodos, a going around, cycle ; from peri-, around + hodos, way ; from Indo-European base an unverified form sed-, to go from source Sanskrit ā-sad-, go toward
- An interval of time characterized by the occurrence of a certain condition, event, or phenomenon: a period of economic prosperity.
- An interval of time characterized by the prevalence of a specified culture, ideology, or technology: artifacts of the pre-Columbian period.
- An interval regarded as a distinct evolutionary or developmental phase: Picasso's early career is divided into his blue period and rose period.
- Geology A unit of time, longer than an epoch and shorter than an era.
- Any of various arbitrary units of time, especially:a. Any of the divisions of the academic day.b. Sports & Games A division of the playing time of a game.
- Physics & Astronomy The time interval between two successive occurrences of a recurrent event or phases of an event; a cycle: the period of a satellite's orbit.
- See menstrual period.
- A point or portion of time at which something is ended; a completion or conclusion.
- A punctuation mark (&thin;.&thin;) indicating a full stop, placed at the end of declarative sentences and other statements thought to be complete, and after many abbreviations.
- The full pause at the end of a spoken sentence.
- A sentence of several carefully balanced clauses in formal writing.
- a. A metrical unit of quantitative verse consisting of two or more cola.b. An analogous unit or division of classical Greek or Latin prose.
- Music A group of two or more phrases within a composition, often made up of 8 or 16 measures and terminating with a cadence.
- Mathematics a. The least interval in the range of the independent variable of a periodic function of a real variable in which all possible values of the dependent variable are assumed.b. A group of digits separated by commas in a written number.c. The number of digits that repeat in a repeating decimal. For example, 1/7 = 0.142857142857 &ellipsis; has a six-digit period.
- Chemistry A sequence of elements arranged in order of increasing atomic number and forming one of the horizontal rows in the periodic table.
Origin of periodMiddle English periode, from Old French, from Medieval Latin periodus, from Latin perihodos, rhetorical period, from Greek periodos, circuit : peri-, peri- + hodos, way. Word History: Many may have wondered why the word period has the sense “punctuation mark (&thin;.&thin;)” as well as several senses having to do with time. The answer to this question lies in one of the senses of the Greek word periodos from which our word is descended. Periodos, made up of peri–, “around,” and hodos, “way,” in addition to meaning such things as “going around, way around, going around in a circle, circuit,” and with regard to time, “cycle or period of time,” referred in rhetoric to “a group of words organically related in grammar and sense.” The Greek word was adopted into Latin as perihodos, which in the Medieval Latin period acquired a new sense related to its use in rhetoric, “a punctuation mark used at the end of a rhetorical period.” This sense is not recorded in English until the late 1500s, but the word had already entered Middle English in the 1400s as a borrowing from Old French in the sense “a cycle of recurrence of a disease.”
- (chiefly North America) And nothing else; and nothing less; used for emphasis.
- When I say "eat your dinner," it means "eat your dinner," period!
- An end or conclusion; the final point of a process etc. [from 16th c.]
- A period of time in history seen as a single coherent entity; an epoch, era. [from 16th c.]
- Food rationing continued in the post-war period.
- (rhetoric) A complete sentence, especially one expressing a single thought or making a balanced, rhythmic whole. [from 16th c.]
- (now chiefly North America) The punctuation mark “.” (indicating the ending of a sentence or marking an abbreviation).
- A length of time. [from 17th c.]
- There was a period of confusion following the announcement.
- You'll be on probation for a six-month period.
- The length of time during which the same characteristics of a periodic phenomenon recur, such as the repetition of a wave or the rotation of a planet. [from 17th c.]
- Female menstruation. [from 18th c.]
- When she is on her period she prefers not to go swimming.
- A section of an artist's, writer's (etc.) career distinguished by a given quality, preoccupation etc. [from 19th c.]
- This is one of the last paintings Picasso created during his Blue Period.
- Each of the divisions into which a school day is split, allocated to a given subject or activity. [from 19th c.]
- I have math class in second period.
- (chiefly North America) Each of the intervals into which various sporting events are divided. [from 19th c.]
- Gretzky scored in the last minute of the second period.
- (chemistry) A row in the periodic table of the elements. [from 19th c.]
- (geology) A subdivision of an era, typically lasting from tens to hundreds of millions of years, see Appendix: Geologic timescale.
- (genetics) A Drosophila gene which gene product is involved in regulation of the circadian rhythm
- (music) Two phrases (an antecedent and a consequent phrase).
- (mathematics) One of several similar sets of figures or terms usually marked by points or commas placed at regular intervals, as in numeration, in the extraction of roots, and in recurring decimals.
- (length of time of recurrence of a periodic phenomenon): frequency
(third-person singular simple present periods, present participle perioding, simple past and past participle perioded)
- To put an end to.
From Middle English periode, from Middle French periode, from Medieval Latin periodus, from Ancient Greek περίοδος (períodos, “circuit, period of time, path around”), from περί- (peri-, “around”) + ὁδός (hodós, “way”). Displaced native Middle English tide (“interval, period, season”), from Old English tīd (“time, period, season”), Middle English elde (“age, period”), from Old English ieldu (“age, period of time”).