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hiatus

[hahy-ey-tuh s] /haɪˈeɪ təs/
noun, plural hiatuses, hiatus.
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.
Origin
1555-1565
1555-65; < Latin hiātus opening, gap, equivalent to hiā(re) to gape, open + -tus suffix of v. action
Related forms
hiatal, adjective
Synonyms
3. break, interval, space.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for hiatal

hiatus

/haɪˈeɪtəs/
noun (pl) -tuses, -tus
1.
(esp in manuscripts) a break or gap where something is missing
2.
a break or interruption in continuity
3.
a break between adjacent vowels in the pronunciation of a word
4.
(anatomy) a natural opening or aperture; foramen
5.
(anatomy) a less common word for vulva
Derived Forms
hiatal, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: gap, cleft, aperture, from hiāre to gape, yawn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for hiatal
adj.

1906, from stem of hiatus + -al (1).

hiatus

n.

1560s, "break or opening in a material object," from Latin hiatus "opening, aperture, rupture, gap," from past participle stem of hiare "to gape, stand open" (see yawn (v.)). Sense of "gap or interruption in events, etc." is first recorded 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hiatal in Medicine

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.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for hiatal

hiatus

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

Learn more about hiatus with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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9
9
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