Monday, January 18, 2010

HIATUS: Definition

- 6 dictionary results

[hahy-ey-tuh s]

–noun, plural -tus⋅es, -tus.

  1. a break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc.
  2. a missing part; gap or lacuna: Scholars attempted to account for the hiatus in the medieval manuscript.
  3. any gap or opening.
  4. Grammar, Prosody. the coming together, with or without break or slight pause, and without contraction, of two vowels in successive words or syllables, as in see easily.
  5. Anatomy. a natural fissure, cleft, or foramen in a bone or other structure.
1555–65; < style="font-style: italic;">hiātus opening, gap, equiv. to hiā(re) to gape, open + -tus suffix of v. action

Related forms: hi⋅a⋅tal, adjective

break, interval, space.

SOURCE: Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009.


Related Words for : hiatus
abatement, reprieve, respite, suspension, foramen


hi·a·tus (hī-ā'təs)
n. pl. hi·a·tus·es or hiatus
  1. A gap or interruption in space, time, or continuity; a break: "We are likely to be disconcerted by . . . hiatuses of thought" (Edmund Wilson).
  2. Linguistics A slight pause that occurs when two immediately adjacent vowels in consecutive syllables are pronounced, as in reality and naive.
  3. Anatomy A separation, aperture, fissure, or short passage in an organ or body part.
[Latin hiātus, from past participle of hiāre, to gape.]
hi·a'tal (-āt'l) adj.

SOURCE: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Word Origin & History

1563, "break or opening in a material object," from L. hiatus "opening, rupture, gap," from hiare "to gape, stand open." Sense of "gap or interruption in events, etc." is first recorded 1613.

SOURCE:Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper


Medical Dictionary 1

Main Entry: hi·a·tus
Pronunciation: hI-'At-&s
Function: noun
: a gap or passage through an anatomical part or organ; especially
: a gap through which another part or organ passes

SOURCE: Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.


Medical Dictionary 2

hiatus hi·a·tus (hī-ā'təs)
n. pl. hiatus or hi·a·tus·es

1. An aperture or fissure in an organ or a body part.
2. A foramen.

hi·a'tal adj.

SOURCE: The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.




in prosody, a break in sound between two vowels that occur together without an intervening consonant, both vowels being clearly enunciated. The two vowels may be either within one word, as in the words Vienna and naive, or the final and initial vowels of two successive words, as in the phrases "see it" and "go in." Hiatus is the opposite of elision, the dropping or blurring of the second vowel; it is also distinct from diphthongization, in which the vowels blend to form one sound

SOURCE: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.