[in-ter-gley-shuh l]

Origin of interglacial

First recorded in 1865–70; inter- + glacial Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for interglacial

Historical Examples of interglacial

British Dictionary definitions for interglacial


  1. occurring or formed between periods of glacial action
  1. a period of comparatively warm climate between two glaciations, esp of the Pleistocene epoch
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 interglacial

1867, from German, coined 1865 by Swiss naturalist Oswald Heer (1809-1883); see inter- + glacial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

interglacial in Science


  1. Occurring between glacial epochs.
  1. A comparatively short period of warmth during an overall period of glaciation. Interglacials are characterized both by the melting of ice and by a change in vegetation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.