intermission

The lengthy pause in the middle of a play or concert is called an intermission. If you're hungry, you might have time to grab a snack during the intermission.

The word intermission has a Latin root, intermissionem, "a breaking off or interruption." Originally, it meant any temporary pause, but by the 1850s it was often used in reference to breaks between acts in theatrical performances. In the UK, this is known as an "interval," but in North America, theater and concert attendees wait until the intermission to use the restroom.

Definitions of intermission
  1. noun
    a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something
    synonyms: break, interruption, pause, suspension
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    types:
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    lapse
    a break or intermission in the occurrence of something
    blackout
    a suspension of radio or tv broadcasting
    caesura
    a pause or interruption (as in a conversation)
    dead air
    an inadvertent interruption in a broadcast during which there is no sound
    delay, hold, postponement, time lag, wait
    time during which some action is awaited
    halftime
    an intermission between the first and second half of a game
    relief, respite, rest, rest period
    a pause for relaxation
    time-out
    a brief suspension of play
    letup, lull
    a pause during which things are calm or activities are diminished
    extension
    a mutually agreed delay in the date set for the completion of a job or payment of a debt
    breath, breather, breathing place, breathing space, breathing spell, breathing time
    a short respite
    moratorium
    a legally authorized postponement before some obligation must be discharged
    retardation
    the extent to which something is delayed or held back
    type of:
    interval, time interval
    a definite length of time marked off by two instants
  2. noun
    the act of suspending activity temporarily
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    type of:
    pause
    temporary inactivity
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