Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of period
Meaning of period by Wiktionary Dictionary



    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” ) .


    • IPA: /ˈpɪərɪəd/


    period ( not comparable )

    1. Appropriate for a given historical era.
    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!



    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.]
    3. A period of time in history seen as a single coherent entity; an epoch, era. [from 16th c.]
      Food rationing continued in the post-war period .
    4. ( rhetoric ) A complete sentence, especially one expressing a single thought or making a balanced, rhythmic whole. [from 16th c.]
    5. ( now chiefly North America ) The punctuation mark “.” ( indicating the ending of a sentence or marking an abbreviation ) .
    6. A length of time. [from 17th c.]
      There was a period of confusion following the announcement .
      You'll be on probation for a six-month period .
    7. 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.]
    8. ( obsolete ) A specific moment during a given process; a point, a stage. [17th-19th c.]
    9. Female menstruation. [from 18th c.]
      When she is on her period she can be more disagreeable than usual
    10. 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 .
    11. 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 .
    12. ( 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 .
    13. ( chemistry ) A row in the periodic table of the elements. [from 19th c.]
    14. ( genetics ) A Drosophila gene which gene product is involved in regulation of the circadian rhythm
    15. ( music ) two phrases ( an antecedent and a consequent phrase )

    Derived terms

    • pseudoperiod, pseudoperiodic



    See also


    • apostrophe ( ' ) ( ’ )
    • braces ( publishing, music, programming ) ( { } )
    • brackets ( publishing, programming ) ( [ ] )
    • colon ( : )
    • comma ( , )
    • dashes ( ‒ ) ( – ) ( — ) ( ― )
    • ellipsis ( … )
    • exclamation mark ( ! )
    • full stop ( British ) or period ( North America ) ( . )
    • guillemets ( publishing ) ( « » )
    • hyphen ( - ) ( ‐ )
    • interpunct ( publishing, web design ) ( · )
    • interrobang ( rare ) ( ‽ )
    • parentheses ( ( ) )
    • question mark ( ? )
    • quotation marks ( formal, British ) ( ‘ ’ ) ( “ ” )
    • quotation marks ( informal, North America, computing ) ( " ) ( ' )
    • semicolon ( ; )
    • slash ( / )
    • solidus ( dated, mathematics ) ( ⁄ )
    • space ( )



Explanation of period by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. a punctuation mark ( . ) placed at the end of a declarative sentence to indicate a full stop or after abbreviations

    2. in England they call a period a stop
    3. the monthly discharge of blood from the uterus of nonpregnant women from puberty to menopause

    4. an amount of time

    5. a time period of 30 years
      hastened the period of time of his recovery
      Picasso's blue period
    6. the end or completion of something

    7. death put a period to his endeavors
      a change soon put a period to my tranquility
    8. a unit of geological time during which a system of rocks formed

    9. ganoid fishes swarmed during the earlier geological periods
    10. one of three divisions into which play is divided in hockey games

    11. the interval taken to complete one cycle of a regularly repeating phenomenon

    Definition of period by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Period n. [L. periodus, Gr. περίοδος a going round, a way round, a circumference, a period of time; περί round, about + ὁδός a way: cf. F. période.]
      1. A portion of time as limited and determined by some recurring or cyclic phenomenon, as by the completion of a revolution of one of the heavenly bodies; a division of time, as a series of years, months, or days, in which something is completed, and ready to recommence and go on in the same order; as, “the period of the sun, or the earth, or a comet; the period of an electromagnetic wave is the time interval between maxima”.

      2. Hence: A stated and recurring interval of time; more generally, an interval of time specified or left indefinite; a certain series of years, months, days, or the like; a time; a cycle; an age; an epoch; as, “the period of the Roman republic”.

      How by art to make plants more lasting than their ordinary period. Bacon.

      3. ( Geol. ) One of the great divisions of geological time; as, “the Tertiary period; the Glacial period”. See the Chart of Geology.

      4. The termination or completion of a revolution, cycle, series of events, single event, or act; hence, a limit; a bound; an end; a conclusion. Bacon.

      So spake the archangel Michael; then paused,

      As at the world's great period. Milton.

      Evils which shall never end till eternity hath a period. Jer. Taylor.

      This is the period of my ambition. Shak.

      5. ( Rhet. ) A complete sentence, from one full stop to another; esp., a well-proportioned, harmonious sentence. “Devolved his rounded periods.” Tennyson.

      Periods are beautiful when they are not too long. B. Johnson.

      ☞ The period, according to Heyse, is a compound sentence consisting of a protasis and apodosis; according to Becker, it is the appropriate form for the coordinate propositions related by antithesis or causality. Gibbs.

      6. ( Print. ) The punctuation point [.] that marks the end of a complete sentence, or of an abbreviated word.

      7. ( 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 circulating decimals.

      8. ( Med. ) The time of the exacerbation and remission of a disease, or of the paroxysm and intermission.

      9. ( Mus. ) A complete musical sentence.

      10. ( Sports ) One of the specified time intervals into which a game is divided; as, “there are three periods in a hockey game”.

      11. ( Education ) One of the specified time intervals into which the academic day is divided; as, “my calculus class is in the first period”.

      12. The time interval during which a woman is menstruating, or the event of a single menstruation; as, “her period was late this month”.

      The period, the present or current time, as distinguished from all other times.

      Syn. -- Time; date; epoch; era; age; duration; limit; bound; end; conclusion; determination.

    2. Period ( pērĭŭd ), v. t. To put an end to. [Obs.] Shak.

    3. Period, v. i. To come to a period; to conclude. [Obs.] “You may period upon this, that,” etc. Felthman.