noun, plural in·ter·stic·es [in-tur-stuh-seez, -stuh-siz] /ɪnˈtɜr stəˌsiz, -stə sɪz/.

an intervening space.
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.
Roman Catholic Church. the interval of time that must elapse, as required by canon law, before promotion to a higher degree of orders.
an interval of time.

Origin of interstice

1595–1605; < Latin interstitium, equivalent to interstit-, variant stem of intersistere to stand or put between + -ium -ium
Related formsin·ter·sticed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for interstice

cranny, fissure, space, interval, gap, crevice, slit, aperture, cleft, hole, chink

Examples from the Web for interstice

Historical Examples of interstice

  • 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.

  • He had noticed that the door was not quite closed, and the interstice irresistibly fascinated him.

    The Lion's Share

    E. Arnold Bennett

British Dictionary definitions for interstice


noun (usually plural)

a minute opening or crevice between things
physics the space between adjacent atoms in a crystal lattice

Word Origin for interstice

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

Word Origin and History for interstice

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

interstice in Medicine



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.

interstice in Science



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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.