period

noun
pe·​ri·​od | \ ˈpir-ē-əd How to pronounce period (audio) \

Definition of period

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the completion of a cycle, a series of events, or a single action : conclusion
2a(1) : an utterance from one full stop to another : sentence
(2) : a well-proportioned sentence of several clauses
b : a musical structure or melodic section usually composed of two or more contrasting or complementary phrases and ending with a cadence
3a : the full pause with which the utterance of a sentence closes
b : end, stop
4 obsolete : goal, purpose
5a(1) : a point . used to mark the end (as of a declarative sentence or an abbreviation)
(2) used interjectionally to emphasize the finality of the preceding statement I don't remember—period
b : a rhythmical unit in Greek verse composed of a series of two or more cola
6a : a portion of time determined by some recurring phenomenon
b(1) : the interval of time required for a cyclic motion or phenomenon to complete a cycle and begin to repeat itself
(2) : a number k that does not change the value of a periodic function f when added to the independent variable especially : the smallest such number
c : a single cyclic occurrence of menstruation
7a : a chronological division : stage
b : a division of geologic time longer than an epoch and included in an era
c : a stage of culture having a definable place in time and space
8a : one of the divisions of the academic day
b : one of the divisions of the playing time of a game

period

adjective

Definition of period (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or representing a particular historical period period furniture period costumes

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Synonyms for period

Synonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for period

Noun

period, epoch, era, age mean a division of time. period may designate an extent of time of any length. periods of economic prosperity epoch applies to a period begun or set off by some significant or striking quality, change, or series of events. the steam engine marked a new epoch in industry era suggests a period of history marked by a new or distinct order of things. the era of global communications age is used frequently of a fairly definite period dominated by a prominent figure or feature. the age of Samuel Johnson

Examples of period in a Sentence

Noun We have had two power failures in a five-month period. The period between Christmas and New Year's Eve is a very busy one for us. We are studying our country's colonial period. Children go through many changes during the period of adolescence.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Archaeologists have long speculated that the Cerne Abbas Giant dates to the prehistoric, Roman or even early modern period. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scholars Are One Step Closer to Solving the Mystery of an Enormous Chalk Figure," 14 May 2021 City Airport's digital control tower was completed in 2019 and has been through an extensive testing period before becoming fully operational. Michele Robson, Forbes, "Air Traffic Control Goes Virtual At One Of London’s Major Airports," 13 May 2021 The audit covered a period that ended in June 2020. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, "Ohio deputy auditor compares problems with state unemployment information to Coingate scandal," 13 May 2021 Kliavkoff has a chance to be the person who led the Pac-12 out of a dark period and into a big future. John Canzano, oregonlive, "Canzano: Pac-12 Commissioner hire is one Google, Twitter and LinkedIn will love... but does it work?," 13 May 2021 Fairly early in the arena's Food Truck Friday lunch period, the parking lot where four food trucks parked wasn't too crowded. Eric E. Harrison, Arkansas Online, "OPINION | TAKEOUT TASTINGS: Off the curb," 13 May 2021 Cases adjudicated in this manner, with some exceptions such as driving while intoxicated, are eligible for expungement if the probationary period is successfully completed and no other charges against the person are filed within three years. Yasmine Askari, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "‘I was afraid to see him’: Women speak out after former Carroll fitness center owner’s ‘peeping Tom’ conviction," 13 May 2021 Southern’s endorsement, Canadian Pacific would have a five-day period to sweeten its offer or walk away with the breakup fee. Cara Lombardo, WSJ, "Canadian National Expected to Sweeten Kansas City Southern Bid," 13 May 2021 The Nets pulled away in the third, with Harden's first basket, a 3-pointer, starting a 7-0 spurt that extended a nine-point lead to 80-64 midway through the period. Brian Mahoney, ajc, "Harden returns to score 18 points, Nets beat Spurs 128-116," 13 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Popular television series are often period dramas that offer pleasing escapes into quaint hierarchies—Downtown Abbey, Poldark, The Crown, and so on. Samuel Earle, The New Republic, "The Sordid Story of the Most Successful Political Party in the World," 23 Feb. 2021 Season 4 of Netflix's The Crown takes the multi-period historical drama about Queen Elizabeth II's reign over the United Kingdom into the 1980s, including one of the weirdest wars of a violent decade. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Here's What Really Happened in the Falklands War," 4 Dec. 2020 Later, in the second quarter, officials talked with both coaches during the mid-period hydration timeout. Chris Dabe, NOLA.com, "Destrehan rides four second-half touchdowns to beat East St. John, move into district 7-5A lead," 30 Oct. 2020 Buyers can opt for a variety of non-period modifications. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "A Legend Revived: GTO Engineering's Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competizione Replica," 8 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'period.' 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 period

Noun

1532, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1905, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for period

Noun

Middle English periode, from Middle French, from Medieval Latin, Latin, & Greek; Medieval Latin periodus period of time, punctuation mark, from Latin & Greek; Latin, rhetorical period, from Greek periodos circuit, period of time, rhetorical period, from peri- + hodos way

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Statistics for period

Last Updated

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Period.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/period. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for period

period

noun

English Language Learners Definition of period

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a length of time during which a series of events or an action takes place or is completed
: a length of time that is very important in the history of the world, a nation, etc.
: a time that is very important in the life of a person

period

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of period (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or typical of a particular time in history

period

noun
pe·​ri·​od | \ ˈpir-ē-əd How to pronounce period (audio) \

Kids Definition of period

1 : a punctuation mark . used chiefly to mark the end of a declarative sentence or an abbreviation
2 : a portion of time set apart by some quality a period of cool weather
3 : a portion of time that forms a stage in history the colonial period
4 : one of the divisions of a school day I have math second period.
5 : a single occurrence of menstruation

Choose the Right Synonym for period

period and age mean a portion of time. period can be used of any portion of time, no matter how long or short. We waited a period of five minutes. A new period of space exploration has begun. age is used of a longer period of time that is associated with an important person or outstanding thing. I'm reading about the age of Thomas Jefferson. We live in the computer age.

period

noun
pe·​ri·​od | \ ˈpir-ē-əd How to pronounce period (audio) \

Medical Definition of period

1a : a portion of time determined by some recurring phenomenon
b : a single cyclic occurrence of menstruation
2 : a chronological division the period of incubation of a disease

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