[ dahy-uh-pawz ]
/ ˈdaɪ əˌpɔz /


a period of hormonally controlled quiescence, especially in immature insects, characterized by cessation of growth and reduction of metabolic activity, often occurring seasonally or when environmental conditions are unfavorable.

verb (used without object), di·a·paused, di·a·paus·ing.

to undergo diapause.

Origin of diapause

1890–95; < Greek diápausis; see dia-, pause
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for diapause


/ (ˈdaɪəˌpɔːz) /


a period of suspended development and growth accompanied by decreased metabolism in insects and some other animals. It is correlated with seasonal changes

Word Origin for diapause

C19: from Greek diapausis pause, from diapauein to pause, bring to an end, from dia- + pauein to stop
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

Medicine definitions for diapause


[ dīə-pôz′ ]


A period during which growth or development is suspended and physiological activity is diminished, as in certain insects in response to adverse environmental conditions.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.