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


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

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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin ludo ("to play")


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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