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interregnum

[in-ter-reg-nuh m]
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noun, plural in·ter·reg·nums, in·ter·reg·na [in-ter-reg-nuh] /ˌɪn tərˈrɛg nə/.
  1. an interval of time between the close of a sovereign's reign and the accession of his or her normal or legitimate successor.
  2. any period during which a state has no ruler or only a temporary executive.
  3. any period of freedom from the usual authority.
  4. any pause or interruption in continuity.
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Origin of interregnum

1570–80; < Latin, equivalent to inter- inter- + rēgnum reign
Related formsin·ter·reg·nal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for interregnum

interim, meantime, lull, respite, idyll, interruption, interval, layoff, intermission, spell, hiatus, recess, hesitation, halt, stoppage, lapse, interlude, letup, suspension, hitch

Examples from the Web for interregnum

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British Dictionary definitions for interregnum

interregnum

noun plural -nums or -na (-nə)
  1. an interval between two reigns, governments, incumbencies, etc
  2. any period in which a state lacks a ruler, government, etc
  3. a period of absence of some control, authority, etc
  4. a gap in a continuity
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Derived Formsinterregnal, adjective

Word Origin for interregnum

C16: from Latin, from inter- + regnum reign
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 interregnum

n.

1570s, from Latin interregnum, literally "between-reign," from inter- (see inter-) + regnum (see reign). In the republic, a vacancy in the consulate.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper