• Period


    • IPA: /ˈpɪəɹɪəd/


    From Middle English periode, from Middle French periode, from Medieval Latin periodus, from Ancient Greek περίοδος (períodos, "circuit, period of time, path around"), from περί- (peri-, "around") + ὁδός (hodós, "way"). Displaced native Middle English tide ("interval, period, season"), from Old English tīd ("time, period, season"), Middle English elde ("age, period"), from Old English ieldu ("age, period of time").

    Full definition of period



    1. Appropriate for a given historical era.
      • 2004, Mark Singer, Somewhere in America, Houghton Mifflin, page 70:As the guests arrived — there were about a hundred, a majority in period attire — I began to feel out of place in my beige summer suit, white shirt, and red necktie. Then I got over it. I certainly didn't suffer from Confederate-uniform envy.
    2. (of a film, or play, or similar) Set in and designed to evoke a particular historical period, especially through the use of elaborate costumes and scenery.


    1. (chiefly North America) And nothing else; and nothing less; used for emphasis.When I say "eat your dinner," it means "eat your dinner," period!




    (plural periods)
    1. (obsolete, medicine) The length of time for a disease to run its course. 15th-19th c.
    2. An end or conclusion; the final point of a process etc. from 16th c.
      • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, II.3:All comes to one period, whether man make an end of himselfe, or whether he endure it ...
      • MiltonSo spake the archangel Michael; then paused,
        As at the world's great period.
      • Jeremy Taylorevils which shall never end till eternity hath a period
      • ShakespeareThis is the period of my ambition.
    3. A period of time in history seen as a single coherent entity; an epoch, era. from 16th c.
      • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, The Mirror and the Lamp Chapter 7, With some of it on the south and more of it on the north of the great main thoroughfare that connects Aldgate and the East India Docks, St. Bede's at this period of its history was perhaps the poorest and most miserable parish in the East End of London.
    4. Food rationing continued in the post-war period.
    5. (rhetoric) A complete sentence, especially one expressing a single thought or making a balanced, rhythmic whole. from 16th c.
      • Ben JonsonPeriods are beautiful when they are not too long.
      • 1644, John Milton, Aeropagitica:that such iron moulds as these shall have autority to knaw out the choicest periods of exquisitest books, and to commit such a treacherous fraud against the orphan remainders of worthiest men after death, the more sorrow will belong to that haples race of men, whose misfortune it is to have understanding.
    6. (now chiefly North America) The punctuation mark “.” (indicating the ending of a sentence or marking an abbreviation).
    7. A length of time. from 17th c.
    8. There was a period of confusion following the announcement.
      You'll be on probation for a six-month period.
    9. The length of time during which the same characteristics of a periodic phenomenon recur, such as the repetition of a wave or the rotation of a planet. from 17th c.
    10. (obsolete) A specific moment during a given process; a point, a stage. 17th-19th c.
      • 1720, Alexander Pope, translating Homer, Iliad, Book IV (note 125):The Death of Patroclus was the most eminent Period; and consequently the most proper Time for such Games.
    11. Female menstruation. from 18th c.
      When she is on her period, she prefers not to go swimming.
    12. A section of an artist's, writer's (etc.) career distinguished by a given quality, preoccupation etc. from 19th c.
      This is one of the last paintings Picasso created during his Blue Period.
    13. Each of the divisions into which a school day is split, allocated to a given subject or activity. from 19th c.
      I have math class in second period.
    14. (chiefly North America) Each of the intervals into which various sporting events are divided. from 19th c.
      Gretzky scored in the last minute of the second period.
    15. (chemistry) A row in the periodic table of the elements. from 19th c.
    16. (geology) A subdivision of an era, typically lasting from tens to hundreds of millions of years, see .
    17. (genetics) A Drosophila gene which gene product is involved in regulation of the circadian rhythm
    18. (music) Two phrases (an antecedent and a consequent phrase).
    19. (math) One of several similar sets of figures or terms usually marked by points or commas placed at regular intervals, as in numeration, in the extraction of roots, and in recurring decimals.


    • (punctuation mark “.”) full stop UK, Australia


    • (length of time of recurrence of a periodic phenomenon) frequency


    1. (obsolete, intransitive) To come to a period; to conclude.
      • Owen FellthamFor you may period upon this, that where there is the most pity for others, there is the greatest misery in the party pitied.
    2. To put an end to.


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