interlude

[in-ter-lood]
noun
1.
an intervening episode, period, space, etc.
2.
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.
3.
one of the early English farces or comedies, as those written by John Heywood, which grew out of such pieces.
4.
any intermediate performance or entertainment, as between the acts of a play.
5.
an instrumental passage or a piece of music rendered between the parts of a song, church service, drama, etc.

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English < Medieval Latin interlūdium, equivalent to Latin inter- inter- + lūd(us) play + -ium -ium

interludial, adjective


1. interval, respite, intermission, pause.
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World English Dictionary
interlude (ˈɪntəˌluːd)
 
n
1.  a period of time or different activity between longer periods, processes, or events; episode or interval
2.  theatre a short dramatic piece played separately or as part of a longer entertainment, common in 16th-century England
3.  a brief piece of music, dance, etc, given between the sections of another performance
 
[C14: from Medieval Latin interlūdium, from Latin inter- + lūdus play]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

interlude
c.1300, from M.L. interludium "an interlude," from L. inter- "between" + ludus "a play." Originally farcical episodes introduced between acts of mystery plays; transf. sense of "interval in the course of some action" is from 1751.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

interlude

in theatre, early form of English dramatic entertainment, sometimes considered to be the transition between medieval morality plays and Tudor dramas. Interludes were performed at court or at "great houses" by professional minstrels or amateurs at intervals between some other entertainment, such as a banquet, or preceding or following a play, or between acts. Although most interludes were sketches of a nonreligious nature, some plays were called interludes that are today classed as morality plays. John Heywood, one of the most famous interlude writers, brought the genre to perfection in his The Play of the Wether (1533) and The Playe Called the Foure P.P. (c. 1544). The earl of Essex is known to have had a company of interlude players in 1468; the first royal company was apparently established in 1493.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
For fliers, this is the week of confusion: the interlude between time changes.
But as elsewhere, these rallies proved an interlude in the sharp downward lurch.
Whatever the case, this dark interlude did not last long.
Our second musical interlude should get your head spinning, too.
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