period pe‧ri‧od [ˈpɪəriəd ǁ ˈpɪr-] noun [countable]
a particular length of time:

• She has been taken on for a 6-month trial period.

acˈcounting ˌperiod ACCOUNTING
a period of time to which a particular payment is related for accounting or tax purposes:

• The company has sold the property during the current accounting period, and tax is payable on the gain realised.

conˈtrol ˌperiod
ACCOUNTING a period of time during which budgeted amounts are compared with actual amounts
ˌcooling-ˈoff ˌperiod
1. COMMERCE a period of time, usually between 10 and 20 days, in which you can think about a contract you have just signed and change your mind about entering into it:

• The new Timeshare Act gives you a 14-day cooling-off period, so you can pull out of buying.

2. HUMAN RESOURCES in a disagreement between employers and employees, a period of time during which workers are not allowed to strike or during which employers are not allowed to prevent workers from working:

• a 90-day cooling-off period before strike action started

deˈferment ˌperiod
INSURANCE in health insurance taken out in Britain, a period of time that the insured person agrees to let pass when they are ill before they claim money from the insurance company:

• Varying between four and 104 weeks, the longer the deferment period, the cheaper private health insurance becomes.

ˈearn-out ˌperiod FINANCE
a period of time after a company is sold, when, if the company makes more than a certain amount of profit, some of the profit will be paid to the seller if this has been agreed
ˈpayback ˌperiod FINANCE
1. the time it takes for the profit from an investment to equal the amount of money invested in it:

• The project has a payback period of two years.

2. the amount of time over which you are allowed to pay back a loan:

• The longer the payback period, the more interest you pay on the loan.

ˈpay ˌperiod HUMAN RESOURCES
the length of time someone works, such as a month, before they receive their wages
ˈqualifying ˌperiod
the period of time before you are able to claim a particular benefit:

• There is no qualifying period for sick leave, and consequently employees are entitled to this type of leave immediately upon employment.

reˈcovery ˌperiod TAX
the number of years over which you are allowed to depreciate an asset (= get back the money it cost by paying less tax)
reˈporting ˌperiod ACCOUNTING
the period of time covered by a particular set of results, usually the financial year, or part of that year:

• Overseas sales during the last reporting period came to 104.96 billion yen.

* * *

period UK US /ˈpɪəriəd/ noun [C]
a length of time: a period of six months/10 years, etc. »

This debt is repayable over a period of five years in equal quarterly instalments.


Profit fell 75.1% from the same period a year ago.


The Government will make an additional 10% contribution for a limited period.


The second quarter of the year should have been a busy period.

See also ACCOUNTING PERIOD(Cf. ↑accounting period), COOLING-OFF PERIOD(Cf. ↑cooling-off period), DEFERMENT PERIOD(Cf. ↑deferment period), EARNOUT PERIOD(Cf. ↑earnout period), PAYBACK PERIOD(Cf. ↑payback period), PAY PERIOD(Cf. ↑pay period), QUALIFYING PERIOD(Cf. ↑qualifying period), RECOVERY PERIOD(Cf. ↑recovery period), REPORTING PERIOD(Cf. ↑reporting period)

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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