Definition of interstice
- interstices of a wall
- the interstices of society
- passages of genuine literary merit in the interstices of the ludicrous … plots
- —Joyce Carol Oates
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
there's an occasional interstice in the tedium, but most of the novel is boring
pesky weeds growing in the interstices between the flagstones
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'interstice.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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."
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