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[in-ter-lood] /ˈɪn tərˌlud/
an intervening episode, period, space, etc.
a short dramatic piece, especially of a light or farcical character, formerly introduced between the parts or acts of miracle and morality plays or given as part of other entertainments.
one of the early English farces or comedies, as those written by John Heywood, which grew out of such pieces.
any intermediate performance or entertainment, as between the acts of a play.
an instrumental passage or a piece of music rendered between the parts of a song, church service, drama, etc.
Origin of interlude
1275-1325; Middle English < Medieval Latin interlūdium, equivalent to Latin inter- inter- + lūd(us) play + -ium -ium
Related forms
interludial, adjective
1. interval, respite, intermission, pause. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for interlude
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Imagine an interlude here for fireworks, followed by pertinent questions.

    Fore! Charles Emmett Van Loan
  • The interlude of fever had changed his views and enlarged his consciousness.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • All this is an interlude between greater and grimmer things.

  • In an interlude of their over-night discussion Barbara had asked him to lunch with her.

    The Education of Eric Lane Stephen McKenna
  • After an interlude of confused congratulations I turned to give thanks—far more than thanks—to Francisco Moreno.

    The Bandolero Mayne Reid
  • This was but an interlude in which man could ask of man, "What next?"

    The House Under the Sea Sir Max Pemberton
British Dictionary definitions for interlude


a period of time or different activity between longer periods, processes, or events; episode or interval
(theatre) a short dramatic piece played separately or as part of a longer entertainment, common in 16th-century England
a brief piece of music, dance, etc, given between the sections of another performance
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin interlūdium, from Latin inter- + lūdus play
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 interlude

c.1300, from Medieval Latin interludium "an interlude," from Latin inter- "between" (see inter-) + ludus "a play" (see ludicrous). Originally farcical episodes introduced between acts of long mystery plays; transferred sense of "interval in the course of some action" is from 1751.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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