in·​ter·​val | \ˈin-tər-vəl \

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 \ 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

The new update dramatically shortens this interval, with videos showing warnings popping up after around 30 seconds. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Tesla updates Autopilot to nag users to hold the wheel more often," 11 June 2018 These were then mechanically delayed at the same interval (one second, for instance), moving from left to right across the four speakers. Christian Hertzog,, "At UCSD, Michael Pisaro’s sonic landscapes evoke gratification, contemplation," 3 Feb. 2018 Goal-less at the interval, the pressure in the opening 45 minutes had largely come from Russia in front of a raucous crowd in St Petersburg., "Russia 3-1 Egypt: Pharaohs All But Out Despite Salah's Return as Hosts Put One Foot in Last 16," 19 June 2018 But the interval between RFK’s shooting on June 5, 1968, and his death a day later is all but forgotten. Editors, USA TODAY, "Eagles' White House invite, state primaries and more things to know Tuesday," 5 June 2018 Formats include strike, which has a lot of arm movement; interval, which systematically makes the heart rate go up and down, and other moves. Patricia Dillon, Houston Chronicle, "Minus the leg warmers, Jazzercise is still a popular fitness option," 2 Feb. 2018 This kickboxing fitness club offers 30-minute workouts and is perfect for people looking for a unique and fun workout with functional, interval, cardiovascular and circuit training regimens. Chris Barlow, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "With a new year upon us, try these 7 interesting and new workout options in Milwaukee area," 3 Jan. 2018 Complete 15 intervals of single leg hops (20 hops on each leg). Angie Salveo, Redbook, "The 21-Day, Make-It-a-Habit Workout: Week 1, Day 2," 8 Jan. 2014 To her surprise, the class felt like a high-intensity interval training workout underwater. Jen Murphy, WSJ, "For Intense Exercise During Recovery, She Just Added Water," 30 June 2018

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

8 Nov 2018

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 \

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 \

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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a private place of worship

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