1 all through a length of time: We didn't see a soul during the holidays. | Children were evacuated to the country during the war.
2 at some point in a period of time: Henry died during the night. | There will be one ten-minute interval during the performance.
USAGE NOTE: DURING WORD CHOICE: during, for If someone asks you a question beginning with When...?, you can answer with during but not for: “When did he get those scars?” “During the last war.” If someone asks you a question beginning with How long...? you can answer with for but not with during: “How long did you stay in Mexico City?” “For about three months.” When you want to talk about the time within which something happens, you use during: Call me sometime during the vacation. | Thieves broke in during the night. When you are talking about how long something lasts, you use for: I was only out of the room for a few minutes. | They were married for 20 years. During is common with words for something that continues for a length of time: during the program/the semester/the war/a conversation. You also use it to talk about specific periods of time: during office hours/the day/last week/ that year/the 80s. For is more usual with phrases used to measure length of time: for two hours/a week/many years/a long period. GRAMMAR During is never used with a clause like a while clause: While I was at home, I met a nice boy (NOT During I was..., but you can say During my time at home,..). Also, you would say: I did the dishes while you were asleep (NOT during you were asleep).

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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