• synonyms


[in-ter-gley-shuh l]
adjective Geology.
  1. occurring or formed between times of glacial action.
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Origin of interglacial

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

Examples from the Web for interglacial

Historical Examples

  • According to Penck and Brckner, therefore, the lss is of interglacial age.

    Fragments of Earth Lore

    James Geikie

  • The interglacial deposits, as described by Heer and others, are well known.

  • This we are to suppose was the cause of the interglacial epoch.

  • Interglacial ages were characterized by warmth and aridity as compared to the glacial ages.

  • The names of currently recognized glacial and interglacial ages of the Pleistocene are listed below.

British Dictionary definitions for interglacial


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

interglacial in Science


  1. Occurring between glacial epochs.
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  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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.