Definition of interregnum in English:



  • 1A period when normal government is suspended, especially between successive reigns or regimes.

    • ‘That is why I'm able to look at this period that one might characterise as an interregnum, I'm able to look at this period now with considerable calm, because the organisation is being led by a remarkable team of executive directors.’
    • ‘The British remained in the region until the 1960s, after a brief interregnum during World War II, when the Japanese occupied Malaysia and Singapore.’
    • ‘They couldn't get him out of committee during the Democratic interregnum.’
    • ‘This interregnum was to last for almost sixty years before any stable government could be re-established.’
    • ‘Ancient Mesopotamia is a symbolic resource for a future Iraq as it was once before during a short interregnum before the Ba'athist regime came to power in 1963.’
    • ‘I had avidly followed the space program for two years, having first become interested in it (and all things astronomical) during the interregnum between Gemini and Apollo.’
    • ‘It is for this reason that the imagery of the 1990s as an interregnum is somewhat misleading.’
    • ‘Secularity is, by its very nature, a temporary interregnum between two intensely religious periods of world history.’
    • ‘There was thus an interregnum of 60 years - with one exception.’
    • ‘Some try to make sense out of the post-cold war interregnum during which progressive people in many nations tried to come to terms with past atrocities; all mean to be suggestive rather than exhaustive in their treatment.’
    • ‘Instead of using the peacetime interregnum to hone their military skills, senior military officers sought out civilian missions to justify their existence.’
    • ‘It's as simple as this: we're in an interregnum, that brief period of time before some bright young hacker or some clever company solves this problem definitively.’
    • ‘In Italy, Odoacer's assumption of control and deposition of the 16-year-old emperor Romulus Augustulus in 476 was simply one of a succession of political coups and interregna.’
    • ‘The ages of this world were marked by great struggles against Evil, and the interregnums were medieval dark ages, mired in feudalism and ignorance.’
    • ‘After a short interregnum, May Day was once again the centre of worldwide protest after the First World War.’
    • ‘What potential of virulent propaganda and electoral mileage the move had, has already been made evident from the sampling of reactions that emerged between the short interregnum of the announcement and the withdrawal.’
    • ‘For much of the 13th century, the Emperor was absent from Germany, locked in the conflict with the papacy which terminated with the interregnum of 1250-72.’
    • ‘We have been in a period of interregnum since the end of the cold war, and we are now moving to a General Crisis.’
    • ‘Both sacred and secular music suffered with the Civil War and the subsequent interregnum.’
    • ‘The only breathing space independence-minded Communists would have to regroup would be during the interregnum before the French colonial administration reoccupied its posts.’
    1. 1.1The period in English history from the execution of Charles I in 1649 to the Restoration of Charles II in 1660.
    2. 1.2An interval between the periods of office of two incumbents in a parish.
      • ‘The optimum time for the church to discuss the possible resignation of the pope would be during an interregnum - after a pope's death and before the cardinals elect his successor.’
      • ‘During our church's interregnum last year, his strength and gifting as a preacher became apparent to the leadership.’
      • ‘But the cardinals hold no power to govern the Church during the interregnum.’
      • ‘After a long interregnum, worshippers at the historic Tottlebank Baptist Church at Bouth, near Greenodd, celebrated the induction of a new pastor on Saturday.’
      interim, interlude, intervening time, intervening period, meantime, meanwhile
      View synonyms


Late 16th century (denoting temporary rule between reigns or during suspension of normal government): from Latin, from inter- between + regnum reign.