Word of the Day

Monday, January 29, 2001


\in-TUR-stuhs\ , noun;
plural interstices \in-TUR-stuh-seez; -suhz\
A space between things or parts, especially a space between things closely set; a narrow chink; a crack; a crevice; an interval.
An interval of time.
Out in the harbor, boats are gridlocked: who knows how they got there, or how they will get away? The filthy water is barely visible in the interstices of smokestack, hull, and sail.
-- Larry Duberstein, The Handsome Sailor
The raw material from which the Cote d'Azur was conjured was a narrow strip of seaside, no more than 125 miles long, a brief but brilliantly illuminated interstice between the Mediterranean and three mountain ranges.
-- Angeline Goreau, "A Sunny Place for Shady People", New York Times, April 24, 1994
Everything around is stable, nicely enclosed, nice and smooth, perfectly sealed, not the slightest interstice through which anything could filter in here, could seep in.
-- Nathalie Sarraute, Here (translated by Barbara Wright)
He signed up for the summer session but in the interstice between terms he drove north to see his daughter, Ellen.
-- William F. Buckley Jr., "Witness and Friend", National Review, August 6, 2001
Interstice is from Late Latin interstitium, "a pause, an interval," from Latin intersistere, "to stand still in the middle of something," from inter, "between" + sistere, "to cause to stand."
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