A clock breaks time down into intervals of seconds, minutes, and hours. An interval is a distinct measure of time or the physical or temporal distance between two things.

When you are driving down the highway at 60 mph, you'll see distance markers at intervals of .1 miles. That means that every 1/10th of a mile, you will see one of these markers. Do the math and you'll see that these signs flash by you at intervals of 6 seconds. If your coach tells you to try interval training, he is telling you to do something like run for three minutes, lift weights for two, then run again for three. If he tells you do this again and again, you might want to end this interval of your life.

Definitions of interval
  1. noun
    the distance between things
    synonyms: separation
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    the distance by which one thing clears another; the space between them
    type of:
    the property created by the space between two objects or points
  2. noun
    a definite length of time marked off by two instants
    synonyms: time interval
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    access time
    (computer science) the interval between the time data is requested by the system and the time the data is provided by the drive
    distance, space
    the interval between two times
    embolism, intercalation
    an insertion into a calendar
    seek time
    (computer science) the time it takes for a read/write head to move to a specific data track
    time constant
    (electronics) the time required for the current or voltage in a circuit to rise or fall exponentially through approximately 63 per cent of its amplitude
    slot, time slot
    a time assigned on a schedule or agenda
    lunitidal interval
    interval between the moon's transit of a particular meridian and the next high tide at that meridian
    the time interval during which something or somebody is away
    break, intermission, interruption, pause, suspension
    a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something
    an intervening period or episode
    interim, lag, meantime, meanwhile
    the time between one event, process, or period and another
    latent period
    the time that elapses before the presence of a disease is manifested by symptoms
    latency, latent period, reaction time, response time
    the time that elapses between a stimulus and the response to it
    a seemingly endless time interval (waiting)
    cycle, rhythm, round
    an interval during which a recurring sequence of events occurs
    lead time
    the time interval between the initiation and the completion of a production process
    the interval taken to complete one cycle of a regularly repeating phenomenon
    the time interval between the deposit of a check in a bank and its payment
    latency, rotational latency
    (computer science) the time it takes for a specific block of data on a data track to rotate around to the read/write head
    processing time
    the time it takes to complete a prescribed procedure
    track-to-track seek time
    (computer science) the time it takes for a read/write head to move to an adjacent data track
    a break or intermission in the occurrence of something
    a suspension of radio or tv broadcasting
    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
    an intermission between the first and second half of a game
    the interlude between two acts of a play
    the time between two reigns, governments, etc.
    relief, respite, rest, rest period
    a pause for relaxation
    a brief suspension of play
    letup, lull
    a pause during which things are calm or activities are diminished
    relaxation time
    the time constant of an exponential return of a system to equilibrium after a disturbance
    orbit period
    the time it takes to complete one full orbit around a celestial body
    command overhead, command processing overhead, command processing overhead time, overhead
    (computer science) the processing time required by a device prior to the execution of a command
    type of:
    amount, measure, quantity
    how much there is or how many there are of something that you can quantify
  3. noun
    the difference in pitch between two notes
    synonyms: musical interval
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    step, tone, whole step, whole tone
    a musical interval of two semitones
    half step, semitone
    the musical interval between adjacent keys on a keyboard instrument
    quarter tone, quarter-tone
    half of a semitone
    musical octave, octave
    a musical interval of eight tones
    the musical interval between one note and another three notes away from it
    the musical interval between one note and another four notes away from it
    the musical interval between one note and another five notes away from it
    the musical interval between one note and another six notes away from it
    the musical interval between one note and another seven notes away from it
    type of:
    musical notation
    (music) notation used by musicians
  4. noun
    a set containing all points (or all real numbers) between two given endpoints
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    bounded interval, closed interval
    an interval that includes its endpoints
    open interval, unbounded interval
    an interval that does not include its endpoints
    an interval that is included in another interval
    type of:
    (mathematics) an abstract collection of numbers or symbols
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘interval'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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