I am looking for a word which would apply to the groupings of periods of time, for example:

Daily, Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Monthly, Annually etc

For example, "this task happens daily" where daily is ... the periodicity?

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    note you can, sometimes, use .. "period". "We should repeat this over what period?" – Fattie Sep 10 '15 at 15:59
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    No, daily etc. do not refer to periods. See my comment under @Josh61's answer about frequency. The title of this question does not correspond to the question. – Drew Sep 10 '15 at 17:20

You may use frequency:

  • The number of complete cycles of a periodic process occurring per unit time.(AHD)
  • daily frequency, monthly frequency etc.
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  • Yes. It is the frequency. It is not the period. This is analogous to the difference between frequency and wavelength. Period refers to the length of time between occurrences: 1 day, 2 weeks, etc. Frequency refers to how often the events occur: once every week (daily), every two months or twice a month (bimonthly - it's ambiguous), etc. – Drew Sep 10 '15 at 17:18
  • @Drew, there's some wiggle room to argue that daily etc is can be used to express a time period -- it is only the numerator of the calculation that yields frequency in expressions like "twice daily." In that sort of construction, daily is not really the frequency. The entire phrase is. – stevesliva Sep 11 '15 at 4:27

I recently started seeing 'cadence' used for this meaning.

noun, Also, cadency

3 - the beat, rate, or measure of any rhythmic movement: The chorus line danced in rapid cadence.


For example "The cadence of that meeting is fortnightly"...

But I only saw this for the first time a year or so ago, and not often since (though subjectively more and more as time goes on)

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  • that's kind of deep, Marv! for me it's only a cadence if the period is very regular. so, "monthly" is not (it's 30, 28, whatever days). "at exactly 24 minutes past every hour" is real cadence material. "hourly" is not cadencish for me, becuase for me hourly means "some time within each hour, 24 times a day" rather than, well, necessarily in cadence – Fattie Sep 10 '15 at 15:56
  • @JoeBlow Indeed, it did kind of take me by surprise when I first heard it (in a business context) but I do like the word, it has a kind of elegance... – Marv Mills Sep 10 '15 at 15:59

Just to add some variety to the discussion how about schedule

The task may be scheduled Daily, Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Monthly, or Annually

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Lapse could also be used to describe the groupings in a slightly different way. "There is a day/month/year lapse between events. It is then understood that the events happen every day.

Interval could be used in a similar way. It occurs at a daily interval.

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