Meaning of period

pe•ri•od

Pronunciation: (pēr'ē-ud), [key]
— n.
  1. a rather large interval of time that is meaningful in the life of a person, in history, etc., because of its particular characteristics: a period of illness; a period of great profitability for a company; a period of social unrest in Germany.
  2. any specified division or portion of time: poetry of the period from 1603 to 1660.
  3. a round of time or series of years by which time is measured.
  4. a round of time marked by the recurrence of some phenomenon or occupied by some recurring process or action.
  5. the point of completion of a round of time or of the time during which something lasts or happens.
  6. a specific length of time during school hours that a student spends in a classroom, laboratory, etc., or has free.
  7. any of the parts of equal length into which a game is divided.
  8. the time during which something runs its course.
  9. the present time.
  10. the point or character (.) used to mark the end of a declarative sentence, indicate an abbreviation, etc.; full stop.
  11. a full pause, as is made at the end of a complete sentence; full stop.
  12. a sentence, esp. a well-balanced, impressive sentence: the stately periods of Churchill.
  13. a periodic sentence.
  14. an occurrence of menstruation.
  15. a time of the month during which menstruation occurs.
  16. the basic unit of geologic time, during which a standard rock system is formed: comprising two or more epochs and included with other periods in an era. See table under
  17. the duration of one complete cycle of a wave or oscillation; the reciprocal of the frequency.
  18. a division of a composition, usually a passage of eight or sixteen measures, complete or satisfactory in itself, commonly consisting of two or more contrasted or complementary phrases ending with a conclusive cadence.
    1. Also calledperiod of rotation.the time in which a body rotates once on its axis.
    2. Also calledperiod of revolution.the time in which a planet or satellite revolves once about its primary.
  19. See under(def. 5).
  20. a group of two or more cola.
—adj.
  1. noting, pertaining to, evocative of, imitating, or representing a historical period or the styles current during a specific period of history: period costumes; a period play.
—interj.
  1. (used by a speaker or writer to indicate that a decision is irrevocable or that a point is no longer discussable): I forbid you to go, period.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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