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[in-ter-gley-shuh l] /ˌɪn tərˈgleɪ ʃəl/
adjective, Geology
occurring or formed between times of glacial action.
Origin of interglacial
1865-70; inter- + glacial Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for interglacial
  • It appears that they lived there during a warm interglacial period where the weather was slightly more hospitable.
  • We are, after all, in an interglacial period of an ice age.
  • Perhaps the climate sensitivity during a glacial period is less than during interglacial or warm periods.
  • We are living near the end of a interglacial period.
  • The normal thing that has happened during each interglacial in the past is that sea level rises.
  • We are currently in an interglacial period, with close to total melting having already occurred.
  • When sea level rises during the next interglacial, a new wave-cut terrace is eroded below the previous interglacial terrace.
  • At that time, glacial conditions began and temperatures fluctuated widely, ranging from full glacial to interglacial conditions.
  • Ice ages are punctuated by interglacial periods of relative warmth, such as the one marking the close of the twentieth century.
  • During these warmer interglacial stages, the ice melted and returned to the sea.
British Dictionary definitions for interglacial


/ˌɪntəˈɡleɪsɪəl; -ʃəl/
occurring or formed between periods of glacial action
a period of comparatively warm climate between two glaciations, esp of the Pleistocene epoch
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
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Word Origin and History for interglacial

1867, from German, coined 1865 by Swiss naturalist Oswald Heer (1809-1883); see inter- + glacial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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interglacial in Science
Adjective  Occurring between glacial epochs.

Noun  A comparatively short period of warmth during an overall period of glaciation. Interglacials are characterized both by the melting of ice and by a change in vegetation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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