- a short interval between the acts of a play or parts of a public performance, usually a period of approximately 10 or 15 minutes, allowing the performers and audience a rest.
- a period during which action temporarily ceases; an interval between periods of action or activity: They studied for hours without an intermission.
- the act or fact of intermitting; state of being intermitted: to work without intermission.
Origin of intermission
Examples from the Web for intermission
He promptly explained the situation, breaking early for intermission.How the Circus Got a Social Conscience
November 7, 2014
Like, if there was an intermission at dirty movies, so you could go get your Goobers—or Raisinets, for that matter.Mel Brooks Is Always Funny and Often Wise in This 1975 Playboy Interview
February 16, 2014
As a debate, this was a sideshow, 90 minutes of stilted silliness, an intermission interrupting the real deal.Joe Biden Beat Paul Ryan, But Veep Debate Was a Mediocre Snoozefest
October 12, 2012
With concerts and plays the intermission often proves a bit of dilemma.Geoff Dyer Takes on Andrei Tarkovsky’s Film ‘Stalker’ in ‘Zona’
February 25, 2012
But at intermission during a recent preview performance, the man next to me grumbled that he had no idea what was going on.The Past Is Present in Arcadia
March 16, 2011
This was at the intermission after the first act of "The Beggars" opera.How the Piano Came to Be
Ellye Howell Glover
The three Sans had spent their intermission talking to Leslie.Marjorie Dean, College Sophomore
At the noon intermission, therefore, my boat was available for use, and I always had a party.Breaking Away
If the interludes are retained there need not be any intermission in the whole drama.The Buddha
Sam occupied the intermission by staring furtively at her profile.The Girl on the Boat
Pelham Grenville Wodehouse
- an interval, as between parts of a film
- a period between events or activities; pause
- the act of intermitting or the state of being intermitted
Word Origin and History for intermission
early 15c., from Latin intermissionem (nominative intermissio) "interruption," noun of action from past participle stem of intermittere "to leave off," from inter- "between" (see inter-) + mittere "let go, send" (see mission).
Intermission is used in U.S. for what we call an interval (in a musical or dramatic performance). Under the influence of LOVE OF THE LONG WORD, it is beginning to infiltrate here and should be repelled; our own word does very well. [H.W. Fowler, "Modern English Usage," 1926]