Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[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.
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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for interlude
  • 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.
  • But they did this only after an interlude of half an hour in.
  • But this interlude of modernity soon came to a close.
  • The bizarre karaoke interlude was a departure of sorts, but otherwise the broadcast was no different from the previous sixteen.
  • The rally attracts more than its share of weekend warriors eager for a brief interlude of escapist revelry.
  • Later, he contributes the one dramatic episode in the interlude.
  • It is a wildly theatrical interlude, a savage physicalization of the captain's desperate state.
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for 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.

Learn more about interlude with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for interlude

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for interlude

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with interlude