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

That saved proved to be vital as, shortly after the interval, City took the lead in spectacular style., "Man City 1-0 Man Utd: Report, Ratings & Reaction as City Edge First WSL Derby," 7 Sep. 2019 In an effort last summer to improve his range in run and pass coverage, Lee participated in team workouts and then joined linebackers coach Ben Eaton for high-intensity interval training sessions. Edward Lee,, "St. Frances football coaches know Shane Lee is ready for start at Alabama: ‘He just does things the right way’," 29 Aug. 2019 Last year, Peloton also offered subscriptions to digital classes for exercises like high-intensity interval training, barre, yoga, boot camp and meditation — no bike or treadmill required — for $19.49. Erin Griffith, New York Times, "Peloton Is a Phenomenon. Can It Last?," 28 Aug. 2019 Just before half-time, Sadio Mane's superb shot gave Liverpool the lead, with Roberto Firmino extending the Reds' lead after the interval. John Sinnott, CNN, "Liverpool holds on for win against Southampton despite Adrian howler," 17 Aug. 2019 Darcy does high-intensity interval training at 5:30 every morning, while Andy lifts five times a week, typically during his lunch break. Rich Juzwiak, Washington Post, "Date Lab: We matched them because exercise is a must," 1 Aug. 2019 This revision is a regular one that the BLS has carried out at intervals for decades and follows a standardized procedure. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Surveys are harder, more complicated than people think," 25 Aug. 2019 Monti placed the ultrasonic device at the right side of Crehan’s brain, aimed it at his thalamus, and pulsed 10 times at 30-second intervals. Los Angeles Times, "For months, he lingered in a purgatory between wakefulness and nothingness," 22 Aug. 2019 Get our daily newsletter Since 1954, the Kruger has been the site of experiments in which plots of land have been burned at intervals, to discern the effects of fire on savannah ecology. The Economist, "A tale of elephants, ants, trees and fire shows how complex nature is," 8 Aug. 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

13 Sep 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 make a temporary encampment

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