Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An intervening episode, feature, or period of time: "Kerensky has a place in history, of a brief interlude between despotisms” ( William Safire).
  • n. A short farcical entertainment performed between the acts of a medieval mystery or morality play.
  • n. A 16th-century genre of comedy derived from this.
  • n. An entertainment between the acts of a play.
  • n. Music A short piece inserted between the parts of a longer composition.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An intervening episode, etc.
  • n. An entertainment between the acts of a play.
  • n. A short piece put between the parts of a longer composition.
  • v. To provide with an interlude.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A short entertainment exhibited on the stage between the acts of a play, or between the play and the afterpiece, to relieve the tedium of waiting.
  • n. A form of English drama or play, usually short, merry, and farcical, which succeeded the Moralities or Moral Plays in the transition to the romantic or Elizabethan drama.
  • n. A short piece of instrumental music played between the parts of a song or cantata, or the acts of a drama; especially, in church music, a short passage played by the organist between the stanzas of a hymn, or in German chorals after each line.
  • n. Any intervening period of time, space, etc.; a pause between phases of an activity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To insert between, as an interlude.
  • To act as an interlude; come between other things.
  • n. In dramatic art, an intermediate entertainment; a short independent performance introduced on the stage between the parts or in the course of the main entertainment; also, any similar by-play or episode or incident occurring in other circumstances.
  • n. In the early English drama, a play; particularly, a play from real life, distinguished from the mysteries and moralities.
  • n. In music, a subordinate passage or composition inserted between the principal sections of a work or performance.
  • n. An instrumental piece between successive parts of a church service.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. perform an interlude
  • n. an intervening period or episode
  • n. a brief show (music or dance etc) inserted between the sections of a longer performance

Etymologies

Middle English enterlude, a dramatic entertainment, from Old French entrelude, from Medieval Latin interlūdium : Latin inter-, inter- + Latin lūdus, play; see leid- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin ludo ("to play") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And so in the middle of this piece you will hear what we call the interlude, brackets Lament.

    Sir Paul McCartney's Choral Piece

  • Apart from the one term interlude of the second Labour government 1957-60, the New Zealand National Party was to govern until 1972 when the third Labour government was elected under Norman Kirk, elected to office on the same day that Gough Whitlam created Australian history by ending 23 years of Coalition government.

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  • The Bears front seven recording dual sacks upon Alex Smith, though struggled in interlude a run, giving up 104 yards rushing to Frank Gore.

    Epoch Times - Cutler's Five Picks Hand 49ers Win over Bears

  • Although I'm with you that a Cuddy interlude is not at all un-interesting, I can't believe how it came about?

    Everyone come down off the ledge

  • Now, after three billion years, the Darwinian interlude is over.

    2008 January - Telic Thoughts

  • In my opinion repeating an occasional post after a decent interlude is a good idea for a blog whose readership is increasing at a super-exponential rate as many new readers may not read through all the older entries. on March 2, 2008 at 8: 11 pm | Reply curly

    Beat Surrender « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • It is mostly set to Gavin Bryars's score, which swells with high, haunting string sounds as a man talks quietly about techniques for manipulating cards; there is also a jagged interlude from the Finnish cello metal band Apocalyptica.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Of course that format can be a bit confusing in an audio book, since there’s no clear way to indicate when an interlude is done and the story proper has begun.

    Review: METAtropolis (Audio) (Stories 1 and2) « BAHAY TALINHAGA

  • The rising, sinister orchestral tones remind me of the slo-mo above shot of aliented vet Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) ’s carnage, and the jazzy interlude is the perfect soundtrack to the scummy streets of New York City, infested as they were with the lowlife scum of the Earth that Bickle so fiercely despised.

    Top 10 Scariest Movie Themes » Scene-Stealers

  • The only laugh earned in this exasperating interlude is by the look of absolute horror on Satine’s face when it’s revealed that Christian is in fact not the Duke, but merely a writer.

    Current Movie Reviews, Independent Movies - Film Threat

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  • "Whereas the Acts of Stage-Playes, Interludes, and common Playes, condemned by ancient Heathens, and much lesse to be tolerated amongst Professors of the Christian Religion, is the occasion of many and sundry great vices and disorders, tending to the high provocation of Gods wrath and displeasure, which lies heavy upon this Kingdome, and to the disturbance of the peace thereof; in regard whereof the same hath beene prohibited by Ordinance of this present Parliament, and yet is presumed to be practised by divers in contempt thereof."
    - Parliament of England, 'An Ordinance for suppression of all Stage-Plays', 1647.

    August 5, 2009