Definition of interlude in English:



  • 1An intervening period of time; an interval.

    ‘enjoying a lunchtime interlude’
    • ‘Except for brief and precarious interludes, there has never been peace in the world; and before history began, murderous strife was universal and unending.’
    • ‘A wet weekend was an excuse to light the fire and curl up with a book - and a walk in the rain was a pleasant interlude, leaving you exhilarated and deserving of your supper.’
    • ‘While I enjoyed the news-less interlude, too many strikes will weary public patience and risk handing viewers and listeners to the opposition.’
    • ‘Such interludes only heightened the edginess which enveloped the stadium, for Celtic were demonstrating the breadth and depth of their ability to spurn chances.’
    • ‘He wants to show that Labour can be a ‘natural’ party of government and not just a brief, fractious interlude between long periods of Conservatism.’
    • ‘It has dominated British politics, at least since the 1880s. Liberal and Labour administrations have merely been interludes in the long, long Conservative parliament.’
    • ‘But Fletcher makes clear that these interludes were seen by many orthodox Muslims as periods of decadence and decay.’
    • ‘We had some interludes of peace, though - walked through the woods this afternoon with Jasper, and I was delighted to see her big eyes fasten on the tree trunks and branches.’
    • ‘In between those two periods we even had a brilliant interlude when property values, as well as rental demand, both shot up in tandem.’
    • ‘A spokesman said: ‘Snow will continue through the day with a few dry interludes and it will slowly improve by the afternoon with snow turning more showery.’’
    • ‘Their trip included six days in a game park followed by a jaunt to Zambia and Botswana, broken up by an interlude in Africa's answer to Vegas, Sun City.’
    • ‘He rested his chin on her head and they returned to their peaceful interlude that they so enjoyed.’
    • ‘Drive a missile-equipped sports car through narrow streets, and enjoy tasty interludes with foreign agents of the opposite sex who try to snap your neck as you reach for the chilled champagne.’
    • ‘But if a holiday were to be a grand interlude, as refreshing as gentle rain in a parched desert, then it would be the answer to many prayers.’
    • ‘It was an interlude of comparatively good government: at least, a period when some infrastructure was built up.’
    • ‘He dried the dishes, and enjoyed the peaceful interlude.’
    • ‘So we'll call this a one-day hiatus, a brief interlude, and keep quiet about it ‘til tomorrow.’
    • ‘When she'd finally calmed down, she'd actually enjoyed her interlude with the leafy thing.’
    • ‘After an hour's wait for politicians and officials to arrive at the venue, the students were run through two hours of politician-speak, save for some brief interludes.’
    • ‘Instead, in the Kabila interludes (first the elder, and now the hereditary son), Congo remains the site of a second Scramble for Africa.’
    interval, intermission, break, recess, pause, respite, rest, breathing space, halt, gap, stop, stoppage, hiatus, lull
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A pause between the acts of a play.
      • ‘At one point in Act I they all stand on the tilted stage, in a straight line, during one of the interludes.’
      • ‘Dancers have only one and a half minutes in the interlude to change clothes.’
      • ‘In the interludes between the 12 scenes, the Andorrans take the witness stand to disclaim any responsibility for Andri's death, rather in the manner of Adolf Eichmann during his trial.’
  • 2A thing occurring or done during an interval.

    • ‘Performances by the couple and their troupe, which gave the much-needed interlude to the event, were a hit.’
    • ‘You feel like you've experienced a gig, played out with comedy interludes and a dash of social comment.’
    • ‘But for the dance events coming as interludes, models took the centrestage, inadvertently defining the commercialisation of education.’
    1. 2.1 Something performed during a theatre interval.
      ‘an orchestral interlude’
      • ‘That interludes were sometimes performed by villagers we know from ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’ in A Midsummer Night's Dream.’
      • ‘In the 1900s, Cons began staging Shakespearian scenes during concert interludes.’
      • ‘Tonight there will be a Tanwood School of Performing Arts 60th anniversary show, with an interlude performance from the Moloney School of Irish Dancing, at the Arts Centre in Devizes Road.’
      • ‘Even the staging is poor: the Pyramus and Thisbe interlude is inexplicably set on a high balcony, remote from the audience.’
      • ‘In between the shows, the comic interludes were performed to keep the audience in good spirits with twinkle-footed clowns.’
      • ‘During the orchestral interludes, the curtain remains up and characters mime to the music.’
      • ‘She made her debut dancing with Anton Dolin's company in London in 1929, performing balletic interludes in revues at the Coliseum.’
      • ‘The plot in this play is difficult to follow, but the minimal dialogue, emphasis on visuals and musical interlude performed on stage by the actors makes it offbeat enough to enjoy.’
      • ‘Apart from the Malaysian dance performance, by way of an interlude, Madurai too put its best foot forward with a brief fire dance by a local performer.’
      • ‘The work was divided between dance interludes and theatrical dialogue.’
      • ‘The evening might best be described as a surreal musical revue with spoken-word interludes and snatches of drama.’
      • ‘It's a smorgasbord, complete with physical sketch comedy, musical interludes, and dance performance.’
      • ‘They included sixteen endearing young students from the ballet school whose gracious performance of the Polish interlude was delightful.’
    2. 2.2 A piece of music played between other pieces or between the verses of a hymn.
      ‘short instrumental interludes between songs’
      • ‘The mournful saxophone appears again in an interlude before the short second movement.’
      • ‘These might be orchestral interludes or the religious hymns, but they form more contemplative passages, balancing the dialogue.’
      • ‘Most of the firmly harmonized chorales were impressive (though some were thin or too slow), as were those with colourful instrumental interludes.’
      • ‘The odd-numbered tracks are short interludes using music boxes and prepared toy pianos to situate his longer improvised works for prepared piano.’
      • ‘And I liked the music interludes especially too.’
      • ‘The short Elegy in D minor is nothing but a peaceful interlude but the Piano Quartet in A minor is another important work that deserves better recognition.’
      • ‘Disc One throws together dramatic choral interludes, pieces of syncopated 60s rock, and more traditional works that gesture back toward bossa nova.’
      • ‘A rocking midsection and an oddball circus music interlude don't contribute much to the song, but they don't detract much from it, either.’
      • ‘In Catholic countries, the symphony was much used for instrumental interludes in the Mass or in place of the Proper items, at cathedrals, large churches, princely chapels, and monasteries.’
      • ‘It's a curious mix - fifteen tracks of short interludes, instrumentals and the occasional full song - far removed from the bluesy, rough-edged sound favoured by their previous outfit.’
      • ‘He does a wonderful job of not stacking the desolate-sounding tunes and in separating the album's six proper tunes with clever musical interludes that bridge the gaps excellently.’
      • ‘Boasting 15 tracks, four of which act as short instrumental interludes between songs, the album booklet includes landscapes and urban scenes entwined with vocalist Bruce Conlon's sappy poetry.’
      • ‘He recasts the well-known instrumental interlude from his opera Sir John in Love for voices.’
      • ‘The ensemble too is impeccably restrained and mutually responsive - witness the two purely instrumental interludes offered on the disc.’
      • ‘The instrumental interludes are brilliantly conceived - bright, dissonant, and seemingly mock-serious.’
      • ‘It must be admitted, however, that one of the most memorable parts of the cantata is the Scherzo interlude, ‘The Flight into Egypt’, for piano alone.’
      • ‘The audio-track covers the history of Burlington House with interludes of music dating from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.’
      • ‘The Sunrise String Quartet to our right plays musical interludes for accompaniment and transition.’
      • ‘It is mainly dialogue driven with musical interludes, and the music is virtually the only time the rear channels are utilized.’
      • ‘The musical interlude that followed was a lovely performance by Vogt and Meyer playing Schumann (Three fantasy pieces for piano and clarinet).’
    3. 2.3 A temporary amusement or diversion that contrasts with what goes before or after.
      ‘the romantic interlude palled rapidly once he was back in town’
      • ‘What does he say to his wife after a romantic interlude?’
      • ‘A drop of oil on a pillowcase will tantalise the senses for a romantic interlude, or help to lull you off to sleep.’
      • ‘The full-bore spookiness of these interludes provides a startling contrast to the main action, which traverses familiar road-movie territory.’
      • ‘It seems that no-one in Rhea County is descended from monkeys, though it's less clear as to whether romantic interludes with mules and cows might not have contributed to the current population.’
      • ‘I haven't forgotten that this is usually a feather-light interlude of domestic diversions and pop-cult blather - but these are interesting times, and it's my web page.’
      • ‘Okay, I made that part up, but in all seriousness some people were happy with the romantic interlude while others not so much.’
      • ‘My only criticism is that there are not enough romantic interludes between Casanova and Francesca.’
      • ‘I resisted as much as I could, but when she held out the possibility of food and drink, and hinted that there might be some opportunities for romantic interludes, my resistance started to flag.’
      • ‘Enjoy this relaxing interlude before life's next batch of dramatic happenings’
      • ‘But romantic interludes with Max are always a good thing.’
      • ‘Cruz is devoted to gritty realism as many of the romantic interludes are explicitly graphic.’
      • ‘I couldn't - physically couldn't - sit here and take Matt gushing over his romantic interludes with Jessica.’
      • ‘Off course, as my illness progressed, my romantic attachments and interludes became less and less frequent, as most ladies tend not to be attracted to drunken, raving lunatics for some strange reason!’
      • ‘There are no romantic interludes to relieve the stress.’
      • ‘The Swiss have for long tempted Indian film-makers to use the Alps and other picturesque locales as the backdrop for romantic interludes in Bollywood films.’
      • ‘After all, why would a career-minded woman ever want to become entangled in a romantic interlude that might end up with her becoming a stay-at-home mom?’
      • ‘Cops are either not there in these places or they are pretty ignorant of these romantic interludes.’
      • ‘And what I've just realized is that these romantic interludes are actually pretty interesting.’
      • ‘Though the mystery halts in places, there are a series of italicized interludes that tell the serialized story of a stranger who visits the solstice party to give Alice a notebook from a hitchhiker.’
      • ‘We all vacation, travel, have romantic interludes in the prairies and wood-lands.’


Middle English (originally denoting a light dramatic entertainment): from medieval Latin interludium, from inter- ‘between’ + ludus ‘play’.