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hiatus

[hahy-ey-tuh s]
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noun, plural hi·a·tus·es, hi·a·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.

Origin of hiatus

1555–65; < Latin hiātus opening, gap, equivalent to hiā(re) to gape, open + -tus suffix of v. action
Related formshi·a·tal, adjective

Synonyms

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3. break, interval, space.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for hiatal

hiatus

noun plural -tuses or -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 Formshiatal, 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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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

hiatal in Medicine

hiatus

(hī-ātəs)
n. pl. hiatus
  1. An aperture or fissure in an organ or a body part.
  2. A foramen.
Related formshi•atal adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.