formerly also enterlude, c. 1300, from Old French entrelude and directly from Medieval Latin interludium "an interlude," from Latin inter "between" (see inter-) + ludus "a play" (see ludicrous). Originally the term for farcical episodes ("generally short and coarse" - Century Dictionary) drawn from real life introduced between acts of long mystery or morality plays. In 17c.-18c. it meant "popular stage play;" transferred (non-dramatic) sense of "interval in the course of some action" is from 1751. Related: Interludial.