I. pe ‧ ri ‧ od 1 S1 W1 AC /ˈpɪəriəd $ ˈpɪr-/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: French ; Origin: période , from Latin , from Greek , from peri- ( PERICARDIUM ) + hodos 'way' ]
1 . LENGTH OF TIME a particular length of time with a beginning and an end:
Tomorrow’s weather will be dry with sunny periods.
His playing improved in a very short period of time.
a brief period of silence
The drug was tested over a five-week period.
They adopted the system for a trial period (=time in which something is tested to see if it works well) .
2 . LIFE/HISTORY a particular time in someone’s life or in history ⇨ era :
the conflict of the Cold War period
Van Gogh’s early period
the Jurassic period
the behaviour of children during the period of adolescence
3 . BLOOD the flow of blood that comes from a woman’s body each month ⇨ menstrual period :
I was 12 years old when I started my periods.
4 . MARK American English the mark (.) used in writing to show the end of a sentence or of an ↑ abbreviation SYN full stop British English
5 . SCHOOL one of the equal parts that the school day is divided into SYN lesson British English :
What class do you have first period?
a double period of Science
6 . SPORTS one of the equal parts that a game is divided into in a sport such as ↑ ice hockey :
The Bruins scored twice in the first period.
7 . FOR EMPHASIS period! American English spoken used to emphasize that you have made a decision and that you do not want to discuss the subject any more SYN full stop! :
I’m not going, period!
• • •
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + period
▪ a long/lengthy period
They had to spend long periods apart.
▪ a short/brief period
He lived for a short period in Manchester.
▪ a limited period (=a fairly short length of time)
From May, the site will be open to the public for a limited period.
▪ a fixed/set period (=that will not be changed)
A tourist visa allows you to stay for a fixed period.
▪ an indefinite period (=with no fixed end)
The painting had been loaned to the gallery for an indefinite period.
▪ a six month/five year etc period
They studied the behaviour of the ocean during a five year period.
▪ a trial period (=a time in which you try something to see if it is good)
We could introduce the system for a trial period.
▪ a period of time
Over a period of time, this pressure can damage the fibres of the carpet.
• • •
■ a period in history
▪ period a particular time in history, especially one studied as a subject:
the late Victorian period
the interwar period
During that period many people moved from the countryside to the towns.
▪ time a period of years, months, days etc:
The 1960s were a time of great social change.
the biggest earthquake in modern times
Verdun was an important city in Roman times.
▪ age a long period, especially one that represents a particular stage in the development of civilization or technology:
the industrial age
We are now in the age of the Internet.
the Stone Age (=when people used tools made of stone)
▪ era a long period that has a particular character or that is marked by particular events:
We live in an era of breathtaking change.
the post-war era
De Gaulle’s death marked the end of an era.
▪ epoch /ˈiːpɒk $ ˈepək/ formal means the same as era , but sounds more formal and important:
We are now entering a new epoch in human history.
the colonial epoch
It was the end of an epoch.
II. period 2 BrE AmE adjective
period costume/furniture etc clothes, furniture etc in the style of a particular time in history:
actors dressed in period costume