1 of 2


pe·​ri·​od·​i·​cal ˌpir-ē-ˈä-di-kəl How to pronounce periodical (audio)
: published with a fixed interval between the issues or numbers
: published in, characteristic of, or connected with a periodical


2 of 2


: a periodical publication

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
Hopkins was a literary path-breaker, working as a periodical editor and publisher and as a race-issues novelist when these roles were barely open to women. New York Times, 12 Oct. 2023 Wintery conditions will last through March, the periodical predicts. Victoria Moorwood, The Enquirer, 10 Aug. 2023 While at Stanford, Tatlock wrote for the Western Worker, the Communist Party's west coast periodical. Town & Country, 28 July 2023 The periodical forecasts below-average temperatures with lots of snowstorms, sleet, ice and rain throughout the Great Lakes and Midwest. Victoria Moorwood, The Enquirer, 10 Aug. 2023 The agent eventually sold excerpts to The Paris Review and the periodical New World Writing. Hillel Italie, ajc, 4 Sep. 2022 That’s the highest total ever measured for sales of periodical comics, graphic novels and digital comics, with just about every segment of the market showing enormous growth. Rob Salkowitz, Forbes, 5 July 2022 Between 400,000 and 55,000 years ago, these periodical lakes formed and filled at five different times that were associated with the discovery of stone tools. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 1 Sep. 2021 New research tracking the albedo of our planet—its ability to reflect sunlight—has revealed that a complex interplay of periodical weather patterns in the Pacific Ocean affects our overall cloud cover, especially in the sky west of the Americas. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 17 Feb. 2022
At any rate, the newspaper was awfully thin, as are most American periodicals nowadays, with its thinness spent largely on indoor pronouncements; hence any outdoor death might go unreported, thereby preserving me from knowing about it—bad for my essay but relaxing for my conscience. William T. Vollmann, Harper's Magazine, 16 Oct. 2023 At the time of its initial publication in the late 1960s, the periodical became a beacon for techno-optimists and back-to-the-land hippies. Boone Ashworth, WIRED, 13 Oct. 2023 Members collected dues, helped one another place their stories and showcase their work and even contemplated establishing a business and a periodical. Lauren Leblanc, Los Angeles Times, 2 Nov. 2023 Few other academics were writing anything like this for popular periodicals at the time. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 19 Oct. 2023 The delivery standard for first-class mail and periodicals increased from a maximum of three days to a maximum of five. Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY, 23 Aug. 2023 Peretz’s editors understood the best periodicals are unpredictable, slick, intelligent, and stylish, no matter who occupies the Oval Office. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 12 Aug. 2023 After an unseasonably warm winter last year, the periodical predicts frigid temperatures and snowstorms for much of the country this time around. Victoria Moorwood, The Enquirer, 10 Aug. 2023 Founded in 1951 for those who grout tile and hang cabinets, the periodical was no match for Prince Harry’s memoir or a Stephen King novel. Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times, 9 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'periodical.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1798, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of periodical was in 1585

Dictionary Entries Near periodical

Cite this Entry

“Periodical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
pe·​ri·​od·​i·​cal ˌpir-ē-ˈäd-i-kəl How to pronounce periodical (audio)
: published at regular intervals


2 of 2 noun
: a periodical publication

More from Merriam-Webster on periodical

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