Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

Word of the Day
Friday, September 14, 2018

Definitions for interregnum

  1. any period during which a state has no ruler or only a temporary executive.
  2. an interval of time between the close of a sovereign's reign and the accession of his or her normal or legitimate successor.
  3. any period of freedom from the usual authority.

Learn something
new every day


GET OUR


Thank youfor signing up
Get the Word of the Day Email
Citations for interregnum
But now, he has been on the job for two decades, save for a brief interregnum when he switched posts with his prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev. Michael McFaul, "I've been in meetings with Putin. Here's what Trump can expect." Washington Post, July 15, 2018
During the two years of interregnum, during Dr. Aagaard's administration and in the year of two following his resignation to accept a similar position at the University of Washington, all major clinical chairmanships fell vacant and new appointments had to be made. John S. Chapman, "The Cinderella School of Medicine," The Alcalde, January 1962
Origin of interregnum
1570-1580
Interregnum, a straightforward borrowing from Latin, applies far back in Roman history, to the period of kings (traditionally, 753 b.c.–509 b.c.). An interregnum was the period between the death of the old king and the accession of the new one. During the time of the Roman Republic (509 b.c.–27 b.c.), an interregnum was a period when both consuls or other patrician magistrates were dead or out of office. The Roman Senate then appointed from among themselves an interrex (or a series of interregēs) with consular powers for five-day terms whose principal duty was to supervise the election of new consuls. Interregnum entered English in the 16th century.