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[dahy-er-uh-sis] /daɪˈɛr ə sɪs/
noun, plural diaereses
[dahy-er-uh-seez] /daɪˈɛr əˌsiz/ (Show IPA)
Related forms
[dahy-uh-ret-ik] /ˌdaɪ əˈrɛt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for diaereses


noun (pl) -ses (-ˌsiːz)
the mark ¨, in writing placed over the second of two adjacent vowels to indicate that it is to be pronounced separately rather than forming a diphthong with the first, as in some spellings of coöperate, naïve, etc
this mark used for any other purpose, such as to indicate that a special pronunciation is appropriate to a particular vowel Compare umlaut
a pause in a line of verse occurring when the end of a foot coincides with the end of a word
Derived Forms
diaeretic, dieretic (ˌdaɪəˈrɛtɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin diarēsis, from Greek diairesis a division, from diairein, from dia- + hairein to take; compare heresy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for diaereses


(from Greek diairein, "to divide"), the resolution of one syllable into two, especially by separating the vowel elements of a diphthong and, by extension, two adjacent vowels, as in the word cooperation; it is also the mark placed over a vowel to indicate that it is pronounced as a separate syllable. In classical prosody, diaeresis refers to the end of a word coinciding with the completion of the metrical foot, in contrast to caesura, which refers to a word ending within a metrical foot

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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