Period Definition

An interval of time characterized by the prevalence of a specified culture, ideology, or technology.
Artifacts of the pre-Columbian period.
American Heritage
The interval between certain happenings.
A ten-year period of peace.
Webster's New World
A portion of time, often indefinite, characterized by certain events, processes, conditions, etc.; stage.
A period of change, the present period.
Webster's New World
An interval regarded as a distinct evolutionary or developmental phase.
Picasso's early career is divided into his blue period and rose period.
American Heritage
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.
American Heritage
Of or like that of a particular or appropriate period or age.
A Victorian house decorated with period furniture, baroque music played on period instruments.
Webster's New World
(of a film, or play, or similar) Set in and designed to evoke a particular historical period, especially through the use of elaborate costumes and scenery.
Used to emphasize finality, as when expressing a decision or an opinion.
You're not going to the movies tonight, period!
American Heritage
Used to indicate that the preceding statement is the speaker's last, conclusive, word on the subject.
Be home by midnight or you're grounded, period!
Webster's New World
(chiefly North America) And nothing else; and nothing less; used for emphasis.
When I say "eat your dinner," it means "eat your dinner," period!
To put an end to.

Other Word Forms of Period



Origin of Period

  • 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 tÄ«d (“time, period, season"), Middle English elde (“age, period"), from Old English ieldu (“age, period of time").

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English periode from Old French from Medieval Latin periodus from Latin perihodos rhetorical period from Greek periodos circuit peri- peri- hodos way

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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