in·​ter·​gla·​cial ˌin-tər-ˈglā-shəl How to pronounce interglacial (audio)
: a warm period between glacial epochs
interglacial adjective

Examples of interglacial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web From the left, these are the early Eocene Epoch; the mid-Pliocene; the last interglacial, or LIG; the mid-Holocene; the pre-industrial period; the historical period; and projections for the future (at extreme right). Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 14 Dec. 2018 But if the dating proves correct, such an attribution is unlikely, as the sediments just above and below the impressions date to a period called the last interglacial, when the climate in the region was relatively warm and wet. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Sep. 2020 But in the warm periods between ice ages, known as interglacials, scientists assume the Atlantic circulation is stable. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, 26 Mar. 2020 Not all the difference in temperature between interglacials and ice ages was because of carbon dioxide. The Economist, 21 Sep. 2019 Today’s level is 1.45 times higher than that of a typical interglacial. The Economist, 21 Sep. 2019 Just like home Those ratios line up with climate models that suggest a wetter, more hospitable environment in Arabia, courtesy of a shift in Africa’s monsoons during periods of warmer global climate called interglacials. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 29 Oct. 2018 To begin with, there are far more signs of life during the interglacials, indicating that the area was probably covered by sea ice during glacial periods; sediments were much siltier during these times. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 20 Sep. 2018 The present interglacial, which also has not featured a major ice sheet retreat, looks similar to the earlier one where the glaciers also remained stable. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 20 Sep. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'interglacial.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1867, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of interglacial was in 1867

Dictionary Entries Near interglacial

Cite this Entry

“Interglacial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
: occurring or relating to the time between glaciations


2 of 2 noun
: a period of time of warm climate between glaciations
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