Definition of period noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpɪəriəd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɪriəd//
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    length of time
  1. 1  a particular length of time a period of consultation/mourning/uncertainty The factory will be closed down over a 2-year period/a period of two years. This compares with a 4% increase for the same period last year. This offer is available for a limited period only. All these changes happened over a period of time. The aim is to reduce traffic at peak periods. You can have it for a trial period (= in order to test it). The project will run for a six-month trial period. Tomorrow will be cold with sunny periods. see also cooling-off period
  2. 2  a length of time in the life of a particular person or in the history of a particular country Which period of history would you most like to have lived in? the post-war period The church dates from the Norman period. Like Picasso, she too had a blue period. Most teenagers go through a period of rebelling.
  3. 3 (geology) a length of time which is a division of an era. A period is divided into epochs. the Jurassic period
  4. lesson
  5. 4any of the parts that a day is divided into at a school, college, etc. for study ‘What do you have next period?’ ‘French.’ a free/study period (= for private study)
  6. woman
  7. 5the flow of blood each month from the body of a woman who is not pregnant period pains monthly periods When did you last have a period? compare menstruation
  8. punctuation
  9. 6 (North American English) (British English full stop) the mark ( . ) used at the end of a sentence and in some abbreviations, for example e.g.
  10. Word Originlate Middle English (denoting the time during which something, especially a disease, runs its course): from Old French periode, via Latin from Greek periodos ‘orbit, recurrence, course’, from peri- ‘around’ + hodos ‘way, course’. The sense ‘portion of time’ dates from the early 17th cent.Extra examples Committee members will not be eligible for re-election within a period of two years. Eastern Europe entered a period of transition in the 1990s. I have my period and don’t feel too great. I was thirteen when I started my period. Missing a period is often one of the first signs that a woman is pregnant. Public spending was cut during his period of office. Sales have gone up in the last-five-year period. The balance must be paid within an agreed period of time. The customer has the right to cancel the contract during the seven-day cooling-off period. The film spans a period of 40 years of Castro’s rule. The medication is prescribed for a fixed period of time. The most formative period of life is childhood. The offer is only available for a limited period. The period was marked by a succession of financial crises. The view is that the government’s honeymoon period is over. There will be a reduced bus service over the Christmas period. Try breaking your period of study into 20-minute blocks. We lived in Caracas for a brief period. We visited five different cities within a two-day period. When did you last have a period? You can use the software free for a 30-day trial period. You have been paid for the full period of your employment with us. a critical period in the development of the project a dark period in the country’s history a happy period in her life a period of transition between communist rule and democratic government a period of transition from a totalitarian regime to democratic government after a long period of waiting during the intervening period the late Victorian period the period between his resigning and finding a new job the period covered by the book the period from 1 July to 31 December Dinosaurs died out during the Cretaceous period. I have two free/​study periods on Tuesday afternoons. The factory will be closed down over a period of two years. The picture was painted by Picasso during his blue period. There are extra buses at peak times/​periods. There was a long period of uncertainty before we knew the final decision. This textbook covers the post-war period. We’ve got French next period.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: period