a short interval between the acts of a play or parts of a public performance, usually a period of approximately 10 or 15 minutes, allowing the performers and audience a rest.
a period during which action temporarily ceases; an interval between periods of action or activity: They studied for hours without an intermission.
the act or fact of intermitting; state of being intermitted: to work without intermission.

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin intermissiōn- (stem of intermissiō) interruption, equivalent to intermiss(us) (past participle of intermittere to intermit) + -iōn- -ion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
intermission (ˌɪntəˈmɪʃən)
1.  an interval, as between parts of a film
2.  a period between events or activities; pause
3.  the act of intermitting or the state of being intermitted
[C16: from Latin intermissiō, from intermittere to leave off, intermit]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1426, from L. intermissionem (nom. intermissio) "interruption," from intermissus, pp. of intermittere "to leave off," from inter- "between" + mittere "let go, send."
"Intermission is used in U.S. for what we call an interval (in a musical or dramatic performance). Under the influence of LOVE OF THE LONG WORD, it is beginning to infiltrate here and should be repelled; our own word does very well." [H.W. Fowler, "Modern English Usage," 1926]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The weekend is not free time but break time-an intermission.
Courtesy, purity of taste, fineness of style are maintained without
The intermission chatter is generally smarter than it is in the socialite
It does make for a long evening-four hours, with one intermission.
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