from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A space between two objects, points, or units.
  • n. The amount of time between two specified instants, events, or states.
  • n. One of a series of predetermined distances covered at regular time increments with intermittent periods of rest in an athletic workout.
  • n. Mathematics A set of numbers consisting of all the numbers between a pair of given numbers along with either, both, or none of the endpoints.
  • n. Mathematics A closed interval.
  • n. Mathematics An open interval.
  • n. Mathematics A half-open interval.
  • n. Mathematics A line segment representing the set of numbers in an interval.
  • n. Chiefly British An intermission, as between acts of a play.
  • n. Music The difference, usually expressed in the number of steps, between two pitches.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A distance in space.
  • n. A period of time.
  • n. The difference (a ratio or logarithmic measure) in pitch between two notes, often referring to those two pitches themselves (otherwise known as a dyad).
  • n. A connected section of the real line which may be empty or have a length of zero.
  • n. An intermission.
  • n. half time, a scheduled intermission between the periods of play
  • n. Either of the two breaks, at lunch and tea, between the three sessions of a day's play

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A space between things; a void space intervening between any two objects.
  • n. Space of time between any two points or events
  • n. A brief space of time between the recurrence of similar conditions or states
  • n. Difference in pitch between any two tones.
  • n. A tract of low ground between hills, or along the banks of a stream, usually alluvial land, enriched by the overflowings of the river, or by fertilizing deposits of earth from the adjacent hills. Cf. bottom, n., 7.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A vacant or unobstructed space between points or objects; an intervening vacancy; an open reach or stretch between limits: as, the intervals between the ranks of an army.
  • n. Specifically, a low level tract of land, as along a river, between hills, etc. Also intervale.
  • n. Any dividing tract in space, time, or degree; an intervening space, period, or state; a separating reach or stretch of any kind: with reference either to the space itself or to the points of separation or division: as, an interval of rocky ground between meadows; to fill up an interval in. conversation with music; an interval of ease or of relapse in disease; a lucid interval in delirium; to set trees at intervals of fifty feet; to breathe only at long intervals; the clock strikes at intervals of an hour.
  • n. Specifically, in entomology, one of the spaces between longitudinal striæ of the elytra. When the striæ are regular, both they and the intervals are numbered from the suture outward.
  • n. In music, the difference or distance in pitch between two tones.
  • n. The values given in the first column are those of the ideal intervals, such as are secured by using pure intonation; those given in the second column are those of equally tempered intonation, such as is used on keyed instruments, like the pianoforte and the organ. (See intonation and temperament.) A diatonic, interval is one that occurs between two tones of a normal major or minor scale. A chromatic interval is one that occurs between a tone of such a scale and a tone foreign to that scale. An enharmonic interval is one on an instrument of fixed intonation, that is apparent only in the notation, being in fact a unison, as, on the pianoforte, the interval from F♮ to G♭. In musical science the theory of intervals is introductory to that of chords and to harmony in general.
  • n. In logic, a proposition.
  • n. During or between intervals; between whiles or by turns; occasionally or alternately: as, to rest at intervals.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a definite length of time marked off by two instants
  • n. the difference in pitch between two notes
  • n. a set containing all points (or all real numbers) between two given endpoints
  • n. the distance between things


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English intervalle, from Old French, from Latin intervallum : inter-, inter- + vallum, rampart.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French intervalle, from Latin intervallum ("space between, interval, distance, interval of time, pause, difference; literally, space between two palisades or walls"), from inter ("between") + vallum ("palisade, wall").



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