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interlude

[in-ter-lood]
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noun
  1. an intervening episode, period, space, etc.
  2. a short dramatic piece, especially of a light or farcical character, formerly introduced between the parts or acts of miracle and morality plays or given as part of other entertainments.
  3. one of the early English farces or comedies, as those written by John Heywood, which grew out of such pieces.
  4. any intermediate performance or entertainment, as between the acts of a play.
  5. an instrumental passage or a piece of music rendered between the parts of a song, church service, drama, etc.

Origin of interlude

1275–1325; Middle English < Medieval Latin interlūdium, equivalent to Latin inter- inter- + lūd(us) play + -ium -ium
Related formsin·ter·lu·di·al, adjective

Synonyms

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1. interval, respite, intermission, pause.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for interlude

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The interlude of fever had changed his views and enlarged his consciousness.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • In an interlude of their over-night discussion Barbara had asked him to lunch with her.

  • This was but an interlude in which man could ask of man, "What next?"

  • The tarantella then was no more than an interlude in a play.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • This was but an interlude, though an instructive one, in the main course of events.


British Dictionary definitions for interlude

interlude

noun
  1. a period of time or different activity between longer periods, processes, or events; episode or interval
  2. theatre a short dramatic piece played separately or as part of a longer entertainment, common in 16th-century England
  3. a brief piece of music, dance, etc, given between the sections of another performance

Word Origin

C14: from Medieval Latin interlūdium, from Latin inter- + lūdus play
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for interlude

n.

c.1300, from Medieval Latin interludium "an interlude," from Latin inter- "between" (see inter-) + ludus "a play" (see ludicrous). Originally farcical episodes introduced between acts of long mystery plays; transferred sense of "interval in the course of some action" is from 1751.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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