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

Sara Daebritz scored the only goal of the game three minutes before the interval as Germany stretched its unbeaten run to 13 matches in all competitions. James Masters, CNN, "France beats Norway at Women's World Cup after VAR controversy," 12 June 2019 Federico Chiesa replaced Quagliarella after the interval with Insigne breaking through after 49 minutes from a Federico Bernardeschi corner. Emmeline Moore,, "Insigne, Verratti push Italy closer to Euro 2020 with Bosnia win," 11 June 2019 Look closely and Harber’s magic becomes apparent: rippling across the water at regular intervals (and controlled by robotics) are small gold-and-black petals reminiscent of autumn leaves. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "The Top 5 Takeaways from the 2019 Chelsea Flower Show," 23 May 2019 In the last decade, beach cleanups have grown into a global phenomenon, with volunteers gathering at regular intervals for the Sisyphean task of cleaning up plastic trash. Laura Parker, National Geographic, "Beach cleanups are missing millions of pieces of plastic," 16 May 2019 Racers started in intervals and Lamoreaux was among the first to start. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage’s Jason Lamoreaux does double duty, and winds up a double winner," 16 June 2019 Camkiran recommends not waxing five days before and five days after your period because in this interval the body is very sensitive. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "How to Make Your Bikini Wax Less Painful, According to Experts," 1 Apr. 2019 Top Sweat Sesh: Intimate Classes at HIIT Torch some calories pre-brunch with high-intensity interval training at HIIT. Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, "Your Beauty Guide to Brooklyn," 16 Apr. 2019 Aim for 150 minutes of exercise a week, and to really torch fat, make some of it high-intensity interval training (HIIT), Pilolla suggests. Karyn Repinski, Woman's Day, "New Research Links Belly Fat to an Increased Risk of Heart Attacks in Women," 23 Jan. 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

5 Jul 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

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