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dieresis

or di·aer·e·sis

[dahy-er-uh-sis]
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noun, plural di·er·e·ses [dahy-er-uh-seez] /daɪˈɛr əˌsiz/.
  1. the separation of two adjacent vowels, dividing one syllable into two.
  2. a sign (¨) placed over the second of two adjacent vowels to indicate separate pronunciation, as in one spelling of the older forms naïve and coöperate: no longer widely used in English.
  3. Prosody. the division made in a line or verse by coincidence of the end of a foot and the end of a word.
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Origin of dieresis

1605–15; < Latin diaeresis < Greek diaíresis literally, distinction, division, equivalent to diaire-, stem of diaireîn to divide (di- di-3 + haireîn to take) + -sis -sis
Related formsdi·e·ret·ic [dahy-uh-ret-ik] /ˌdaɪ əˈrɛt ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dieresis

Historical Examples

  • Since the ligatures and are used consistently, dieresis in oe and ae can be assumed even when not explicitly indicated.

    The Metamorphoses of Ovid

    Publius Ovidius Naso

  • Dieresis is unpredictable; forms such as Alcathe and Pirithus are common, and have been silently corrected.

    The Metamorphoses of Ovid

    Publius Ovidius Naso

  • Dieresis is unpredictable in both editions; forms such as Phaeton, Ocyrrhe and Dane are common, and have been silently corrected.

    The Metamorphoses of Ovid

    Publius Ovidius Naso

  • Since the ligatures and are used consistently, dieresis can be assumed even when not explicitly indicated.

    The Metamorphoses of Ovid

    Publius Ovidius Naso


British Dictionary definitions for dieresis

dieresis

noun plural -ses (-ˌsiːz)
  1. a variant spelling of diaeresis
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Derived Formsdieretic (ˌdaɪəˈrɛtɪk), adjective
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 dieresis

n.

also diaeresis, 1610s, "sign marking the division of a diphthong into two simple sounds," from Late Latin diaeresis, from Greek diairesis "division," noun of action from diairein "to divide, separate," from dia- "apart" (see dia-) + hairein "to take" (see heresy).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dieresis in Medicine

dieresis

(dī-ĕrĭ-sĭs)
n.
  1. solution of continuity