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(1)   A punctuation mark (.) placed at the end of a declarative sentence to indicate a full stop or after abbreviations
"In England they call a period a stop"
(2)   The monthly discharge of blood from the uterus of nonpregnant women from puberty to menopause
"The women were sickly and subject to excessive menstruation"
"A woman does not take the gout unless her menses be stopped"--Hippocrates
"The semen begins to appear in males and to be emitted at the same time of life that the catamenia begin to flow in females"--Aristotle
(3)   An amount of time
"A time period of 30 years"
"Hastened the period of time of his recovery"
"Picasso's blue period"
(4)   The end or completion of something
"Death put a period to his endeavors"
"A change soon put a period to my tranquility"
(5)   A unit of geological time during which a system of rocks formed
"Ganoid fishes swarmed during the earlier geological periods"
(6)   One of three periods of play in hockey games
(7)   The interval taken to complete one cycle of a regularly repeating phenomenon
(8)   A stage in the history of a culture having a definable place in space and time
"A novel from the Victorian period"


From periode from periode from periodus from periodus from περίοδος (períodos) "circuit, period of time, path around" from περί- (peri-) "around" + ὁδός (hodós) "way". Displaced native tide "interval, period, season" (from tīd "time, period, season"), elde "age, period" (from eldo, ieldo "age, period of time").


  1. Appropriate for a given historical era.
    • 2004, Mark Singer, Somewhere in America, Houghton Mifflin, page 70
      As the guests arrived — there were about a hundred, a majority in period attire — I began to feel out of place in my beige summer suit, white shirt, and red necktie. Then I got over it. I certainly didn't suffer from Confederate-uniform envy.


  1. And nothing else; and nothing less; used for emphasis.
    When I say "eat your dinner," it means "eat your dinner," period!


  1. Punctuation mark ending a sentence or marking an abbreviation (“.”).
  2. A length of time.
    There was a period of confusion following the announcement.
    You'll be on probation for a six-month period.
  3. An epoch, era, time in history or in a person's life.
    Food rationing continued in the post-war period.
    This is one of the last paintings Picasso created during his Blue Period.
  4. A specific length of time that an activity (such as a game or a school day) is conventionally divided into.
    Gretzky scored in the last minute of the second period.
    I have math class in second period.
  5. The minimum interval during which the same characteristics of a periodic phenomenon recur, such as the repetition of a wave or the rotation of a planet.
  6. Female menstruation.
  7. A row in the periodic table of the elements.

See also

  • Wiktionary Appendix with entry about the symbol "."