The term “period” comes from the Latin word “periodus,” which is derived from the Greek word “περίοδος” (periodos), meaning “a going around” or “a way around,” and by extension “a cycle” or “a complete sentence.” The Greek word is composed of “περί” (peri), meaning “around,” and “ὁδός” (hodos), meaning “way” or “path.”

1. Proto-Indo-European (PIE)

The PIE root “peri-” means “around” and “sed-” means “to go.”

2. Greek (c. 8th century BCE)

From the PIE roots, the Greek word “περίοδος” (periodos) developed, meaning “a going around,” “a way around,” “a cycle,” or “a complete sentence.”

3. Latin

The Greek term “περίοδος” was adopted into Latin as “periodus,” retaining the meanings of “a cycle” or “a complete sentence.”

4. Old French (c. 9th to 14th century CE)

The Latin term “periodus” evolved into Old French “periode,” meaning “a cycle of time” or “a complete sentence.”

5. Middle English (c. 11th to 15th century CE)

The Old French “periode” was adopted into Middle English as “periode,” meaning “a cycle of time,” “a complete sentence,” or “a punctuation mark.”

6. Modern English (from 15th century CE to present)

The term “period” evolved into its current form and pronunciation, referring to a length of time, a complete cycle, a punctuation mark indicating the end of a sentence, or a specific era or phase.

The word “period” reflects concepts related to cycles, completeness, and temporal duration, fundamental to fields such as grammar, history, and science. In punctuation, a “period” signifies the end of a declarative sentence, marking a full stop in written language.