pe·​ri·​od·​i·​cal | \ ˌpir-ē-ˈä-di-kəl How to pronounce periodical (audio) \

Definition of periodical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2a : published with a fixed interval between the issues or numbers
b : published in, characteristic of, or connected with a periodical



Definition of periodical (Entry 2 of 2)

: a periodical publication

Synonyms for periodical

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of periodical in a Sentence

Adjective a periodical town newsletter that is supported by local advertisers periodical announcements from airline personnel concerning the delay Noun She writes for a monthly periodical. The library has a large collection of scholarly periodicals.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Cicadas action figures and monsters?:People get creative with art inspired by the periodical insects. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 19 June 2021 The periodical insects, also known as Brood X, spend most of their lives underground feeding on tree roots before tunneling to the surface to look for mates. NBC News, 9 June 2021 People across Greater Cincinnati are seeing the periodical insects emerge from the ground after 17 years. Sarah Brookbank, The Enquirer, 20 May 2021 The periodical cicadas last year were also a challenge. Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2022 Did last year’s periodical cicadas get all up in your face? Washington Post, 1 Feb. 2022 But with 15 periodical broods that emerge in predictable cycles of every 13 or 17 years, a massive cicada emergence can be found in some part of the country just about every year. Rebecca Katzman, Time, 12 May 2021 Two periodical broods were recorded in the state in the past: Broods II and XI, and development has affected both, Simon said. Jesse Leavenworth,, 15 Mar. 2021 There are about four cicada species common to South Texas and about 12 varieties of periodical cicadas, which emerge in 13- to 17-year cycles. Timothy Fanning, San Antonio Express-News, 4 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Sydney Morning Herald’s piece instantly backfired on social media, where Doak and many others admonished the periodical for forcing Wilson to go public with her relationship. Christi Carrasstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 12 June 2022 Whatever the confluence of events that led to the demand for CREEM, the voices behind the original periodical were paying attention. Steve Baltin, Forbes, 1 June 2022 Nazi period was the Catholic periodical Natur und Kultur. M. D. Aeschliman, National Review, 27 Mar. 2022 Between 1835 and 1837, the aspiring writer worked as an editor and contributor at the Southern Literary Messenger, an influential periodical. Washington Post, 2 Mar. 2022 The Ebony story began when a 25-year-old Johnson borrowed $500 in 1942 using his mother’s furniture as collateral to start his first publication, Negro Digest — a periodical that informed readers about Black people fighting in World War II. Kori Rumore,, 24 Feb. 2022 The Saturday Evening Post, the nation’s most popular magazine, began buying his fiction, as did The Smart Set, the literary periodical edited by H.L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan, the era’s most influential tastemakers. Sarah Churchwell, The New York Review of Books, 8 Oct. 2020 When a Donaldist named Detlef Giesler gave a television interview on the subject, according to the group’s periodical, a caller suggested that Giesler himself was Dagobert. Jeff Maysh, The New Yorker, 18 May 2021 The phrase comes from an interview Neel gave to the communist periodical the Daily Worker in 1950. Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of periodical


1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1798, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for periodical

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The first known use of periodical was in 1585

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Dictionary Entries Near periodical

periodic acid


periodical cicada

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Statistics for periodical

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Periodical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for periodical


pe·​ri·​od·​i·​cal | \ ˌpir-ē-ˈä-di-kəl How to pronounce periodical (audio) \

Kids Definition of periodical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : periodic
2 : published regularly

Other Words from periodical

periodically adverb



Kids Definition of periodical (Entry 2 of 2)

: something (as a magazine) published regularly (as every month)

More from Merriam-Webster on periodical

Nglish: Translation of periodical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of periodical for Arabic Speakers


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