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1a length or portion of time:he had long periods of depression the ale will be available for a limited period the period 1977–85 the training period is between 16 and 18 months a portion of time in the life of a person, nation, or civilization characterized by the same prevalent features or conditions:the early medieval period one of the set divisions of the day in a school allocated to a lesson or other activity. each of the intervals into which the playing time of a sporting event is divided. a major division of geological time that is a subdivision of an era and is itself subdivided into epochs, corresponding to a system in chronostratigraphy.
2North American a punctuation mark (.) used at the end of a sentence or an abbreviation. informal
, chiefly North American added to the end of a statement to indicate that no further discussion is possible or desirable:he is the sole owner of the trademark, period
3 Physics the interval of time between successive occurrences of the same state in an oscillatory or cyclic phenomenon, such as a mechanical vibration, an alternating current, a variable star, or an electromagnetic wave. Astronomy the time taken by a celestial object to rotate around its axis, or to make one circuit of its orbit. Mathematics the interval between successive equal values of a periodic function.
4 (also menstrual period) a flow of blood and other material from the lining of the uterus, lasting for several days and occurring in sexually mature women who are not pregnant at intervals of about one lunar month until the onset of menopause.
5 Chemistry a set of elements occupying an entire horizontal row in the periodic table.
6 Rhetoric a complex sentence, especially one consisting of several clauses, constructed as part of a formal speech or oration. Music a complete idea, typically consisting of two or four phrases.
belonging to or characteristic of a past historical time, especially in style or design:a splendid selection of period furniture