Definition of interstice
intersticesplay \in-ˈtər-stə-ˌsēz, -stə-səz\
1a : a space that intervenes between things; especially : one between closely spaced things <interstices of a wall>b : a gap or break in something generally continuous <the interstices of society> <passages of genuine literary merit in the interstices of the ludicrous … plots — Joyce Carol Oates>
2 : a short space of time between events
Examples of interstice in a sentence
<there's an occasional interstice in the tedium, but most of the novel is boring>
<pesky weeds growing in the interstices between the flagstones>
Did You Know?
You don't need to read between the lines to understand the history of interstice; its etymology is plain to see. Interstice derives from the Latin interstitium, which is itself formed from the prefix inter-, meaning "between," and -stes, meaning "standing." Interstices are the cracks and crevices of life, and the word is often used for both the literal and figurative gaps of the world. In modern uses, interstice can even refer to gaps in time or to special niches in the larger expanse of something else. Evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould used it, for example, to comment, "Dinosaurs held sway for 100 million years while mammals, all the while, lived as small animals in the interstices of their world."
Origin and Etymology of interstice
Middle English, from Latin interstitium, from inter- + -stit-, -stes standing (as in superstes standing over) — more at superstition
First Known Use: 15th century
INTERSTICE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of interstice for English Language Learners
: a small space that lies between things : a small break or gap in something
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up interstice? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).