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

The devotion includes crosses spaced at intervals (both indoors and out) alongside art such as paintings or sculptures depicting pivotal scenes from Jesus’s life. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "What Is Good Friday and Why Do We Celebrate It?," 22 Feb. 2019 In addition, a variety of stars were chosen for a more detailed look, with averaging at two-minute intervals. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Get ready for a flood of new exoplanets: TESS has already spotted two," 21 Sep. 2018 Twenty-minute intervals inside the dome would allegedly add years to one’s life. Reif Larsen, The Seattle Times, "LA Reverential: A City’s Chill Spots," 1 Aug. 2018 Repeat this process two more times during the freezing process, at two-hour intervals. Nik Sharma,, "No-cook strawberry ice cream is a game-changer for summer," 26 June 2018 The day of the paintings, women came in at half-hour intervals and were offered a glass of wine. Alison Bowen,, "Chicago women's breast imprints part of River North art exhibit," 1 May 2018 In addition to the trees, there were piles of mulch placed at intervals along the trail, along with stakes, ties and protector tubes. Allan Vought, The Aegis, "Hundreds of trees planted along Ma & Pa Trail in Fallston for Harford County's Arbor Day," 30 Mar. 2018 Groups perform precisely at nine minute intervals over the course of seven hours. Kirk Sides, Houston Chronicle, "Drumline competition gives students new opportunities outside of football season," 12 Feb. 2018 How long that interval changes depends on how bright the Cepheid is: the brighter the star, the longer its brightness cycle. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Astronomers Discover the Milky Way Is More Twisted and Warped Than We Thought," 5 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

15 Mar 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).


to corrupt or become corrupted

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