in·​ter·​val | \ ˈin-tər-vəl How to pronounce interval (audio) \

Definition of interval

1a : a space of time between events or states
b British : intermission
2a : a space between objects, units, points, or states
b : the difference in pitch between two tones
3 : a set of real numbers between two numbers either including or excluding one or both of them
4 : one of a series of fast-paced exercises interspersed with slower ones or brief rests for training (as of an athlete)

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Other Words from interval

intervallic \ ˌin-​tər-​ˈva-​lik How to pronounce intervallic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of interval in a Sentence

a three-month interval between jobs There might be long intervals during which nothing happens. The sun shone for brief intervals throughout the day. There will be a 20-minute interval between acts one and two.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Piano’s design is slender but strong, with a steel span that’s supported by thick columns that anchor into the ground at regular intervals. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Renzo Piano reveals design to replace collapsed Genoa bridge," 21 Dec. 2018 And then Elliott went back to his hotel and spent the interval until his early-morning flight catching up with the Internet’s reaction. Sam Schube, GQ, "John Elliott Designed a Brand-New Sneaker for LeBron James," 23 May 2018 During the 60-second interval in which graduates were encouraged to let loose, one young man didn’t let his long gown keep him from executing the splits in the aisle. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Stedman Graham — educator, entrepreneur and Oprah's beau — delivers commencement at Coppin," 19 May 2018 The driver must use the throttle with precision, steer accurately and shift at the correct intervals to record a good elapsed time and top speed. Paul Stenquist, New York Times, "Virtual Reality Is Carmakers’ Latest Selling Tool, at Shows and in Showrooms," 29 Mar. 2018 By the third interval, Goggia was fifth fastest in the field. Bill Pennington, Anchorage Daily News, "Lindsey Vonn settles for bronze in Olympic downhill," 21 Feb. 2018 Just follow the work-to-rest intervals as indicated. Redbook, "Wedding Dress Challenge Phase 2: Week 1 Workouts," 1 Apr. 2012 Temblors have rattled the Big Island at regular intervals over the past several days - including 18 between 6 p.m. Sunday and midnight local time; another struck early Monday. Amy B Wang,, "'This is heartbreaking': Lava burns more homes on Hawaii's Big Island as new fissures form," 7 May 2018 A 4000 miles/four months interval is good practice. Paul Weissler, Popular Mechanics, "How to Pick the Right Motor Oil for Your Car," 14 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'interval.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of interval

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for interval

Middle English intervalle, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French entreval, from Latin intervallum space between ramparts, interval, from inter- + vallum rampart — more at wall

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Statistics for interval

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for interval

The first known use of interval was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for interval



English Language Learners Definition of interval

: a period of time between events
music : the difference in pitch between two notes


in·​ter·​val | \ ˈin-tər-vəl How to pronounce interval (audio) \

Kids Definition of interval

1 : a period of time between events or states There was a short interval between shows.
2 : a space between things Signs were posted at regular intervals.
3 : the difference in pitch between two tones


in·​ter·​val | \ ˈint-ər-vəl How to pronounce interval (audio) \

Medical Definition of interval

: a space of time between events or states intervals between pregnancies

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Comments on interval

What made you want to look up interval? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


using a distributed computer network

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