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2017 Word of the Year

interstice

[in-tur-stis] /ɪnˈtɜr stɪs/
noun, plural interstices
[in-tur-stuh-seez, -stuh-siz] /ɪnˈtɜr stəˌsiz, -stə sɪz/ (Show IPA)
1.
an intervening space.
2.
a small or narrow space or interval between things or parts, especially when one of a series of alternating uniform spaces and parts:
the interstices between the slats of a fence.
3.
Roman Catholic Church. the interval of time that must elapse, as required by canon law, before promotion to a higher degree of orders.
4.
an interval of time.
Origin of interstice
1595-1605
1595-1605; < Latin interstitium, equivalent to interstit-, variant stem of intersistere to stand or put between + -ium -ium
Related forms
intersticed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for interstice
Historical Examples
  • Through an interstice she was able to see all the persons seated at the other table.

    The City of Delight Elizabeth Miller
  • There was only one crack, and that a very little one; nevertheless he worked his claws into the interstice and dug.

    Lives of the Fur Folk M. D. Haviland
  • Krupp bent down and glanced through an interstice of a partition at a clock in the corridor.

    The Price of Love

    Arnold Bennett
  • There was an interstice through which I got my hand, and put that figure-peg in place again.

    The Voodoo Gold Trail Walter Walden
  • He had noticed that the door was not quite closed, and the interstice irresistibly fascinated him.

    The Lion's Share E. Arnold Bennett
  • I showed him that the sliver taken from the slipper fitted exactly the interstice I had indicated.

  • An interstice left open between the two flaps permitted a fall view of the interior.

    The Wild Huntress Mayne Reid
  • He made a movement to close the door, but Marcos put his thickly booted foot in the interstice.

    The Velvet Glove Henry Seton Merriman
  • Silence broods in the arena, and in every interstice the maidenhair fern grows rife among the decaying stones.

    Old Continental Towns Walter M. Gallichan
  • There seemed to be no interstice, no crevice into which he might insert the keen probe of his marvelous deductive power.

    The Crevice

    William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander
British Dictionary definitions for interstice

interstice

/ɪnˈtɜːstɪs/
noun (usually pl)
1.
a minute opening or crevice between things
2.
(physics) the space between adjacent atoms in a crystal lattice
Word Origin
C17: from Latin interstitium interval, from intersistere, from inter- + sistere to stand
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
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Word Origin and History for interstice
n.

early 15c., from Old French interstice (14c.) and directly from Latin interstitium "interval," literally "space between," from inter- "between" (see inter-) + stem of stare "to stand" (see stet). Related: Interstices.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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interstice in Medicine

interstice in·ter·stice (ĭn-tûr'stĭs)
n. pl. in·ter·stic·es (-stĭ-sēz', -sĭz)
A small area, space, or hole in the substance of an organ or tissue.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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interstice in Science
interstice
  (ĭn-tûr'stĭs)   
An opening or space, especially a small or narrow one between mineral grains in a rock or within sediments or soil.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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