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 statementI 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 Some will reopen to a small percentage of students and slowly transition everyone back to campus during a three-week period if conditions are safe enough. Peggy O’hare, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio religious schools cautiously making plans to reopen," 3 Aug. 2020 Nevertheless, that Domino’s opened during a period when the Obama administration was actively warming the relationship between the United States and Vietnam, and now the locals can enjoy the fruit of that labor: pho pizza. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "Pho on my pizza? It's more likely than you think," 3 Aug. 2020 Throughout this period, too, the Caribbean was an important theater in the ongoing hot and cold global contests among Britain, Spain, and France. Fara Dabhoiwala, The New York Review of Books, "Speech and Slavery in the West Indies," 3 Aug. 2020 Hurtigruten says the operations of three ships — MS Roald Amundsen, MS Fridtjof Nansen and MS Spitsbergen — have been halted for an indefinite period. Author: Jan Olsen, Anchorage Daily News, "Coronavirus outbreak hits cruise ship in Norway and may have spread to port towns," 3 Aug. 2020 Winds could turn rather gusty Tuesday afternoon and night along the Chesapeake Bay, with a brief period of tropical storm-force winds possible on the Eastern Shore. Brian Jackson, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Back to high heat today; heavy rain threat from Isaias late Monday and Tuesday," 2 Aug. 2020 In her city, the police department reported a 240 percent increase in murders (from 5 to 17) when comparing a four-week period ending in July 2019 to the same timeframe this year. Fox News, "Chicago homicides increase 50 percent in 2020, 139 percent in July alone, data shows," 2 Aug. 2020 The usual timeline for training a claims adjudicator is 12 weeks, followed by a roughly six-month introductory period. Alexandria Burris, The Indianapolis Star, "Pandemic exposes gaps in Indiana unemployment insurance program," 2 Aug. 2020 Houseguests will undergo a quarantine period prior to production and will be tested several times prior to entering the house. oregonlive, "‘Big Brother: All-Stars Edition’; ‘The Fugitive’; ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’; ‘An American Pickle’: TV This Week," 2 Aug. 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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Time Traveler for period

Time Traveler

The first known use of period was in 1532

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Statistics for period

Last Updated

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Period.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/period. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for period

period

noun
How to pronounce period (audio)

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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Comments on period

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