Meaning of PERIOD in English

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.

period of

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?

period of

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!

• • •



▪ 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.

■ phrases

▪ 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

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.