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



    BrE BrE//ˈɪntəvl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪntərvl//
    Elements of a play
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  1. 1  a period of time between two events The interval between major earthquakes might be 200 years. He knocked on the door and after a brief interval it was opened.
  2. 2(British English) (also intermission North American English, British English) a short period of time separating parts of a play, film/movie or concert There will be an interval of 20 minutes after the second act. Wordfinderaudience, auditorium, concert, interval, microphone, perform, programme, soloist, support, venue See related entries: Elements of a play
  3. 3  [usually plural] a short period during which something different happens from what is happening the rest of the time She's delirious, but has lucid intervals. (British English) The day should be mainly dry with sunny intervals.
  4. 4 (music) a difference in pitch (= how high or low a note sounds) between two notes an interval of one octave
  5. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French entrevalle, based on Latin intervallum ‘space between ramparts, interval’, from inter- ‘between’ + vallum ‘rampart’.Extra examples After a decent interval the actress made her new relationship public. At intervals a bell rings and workers stop for a drink. He returned home during the day at regular intervals. Meetings are held at monthly intervals. Polling day was a week away and Baldwin made two speeches in the interval. She ruled for ten years, except for a brief interval. The accounts were updated at irregular intervals. The intervals between his various illnesses grew shorter and shorter. They will be interviewed again after an appropriate time interval has elapsed. Trains run at fixed intervals. Try setting your automatic email checker to 30-minute intervals. You are advised to leave a wide interval before you have your next child. the amount of oxygen used by the muscles during a specified interval She’s delirious most of the time, but has lucid intervals.Idioms
    1. 1  with time between Buses to the city leave at regular intervals. The runners started at 5-minute intervals.
    2. 2  with spaces between Flaming torches were positioned at intervals along the terrace.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: interval

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