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August 18, 2019

Word of the Day: Hiatus

2 CQ

Word of the Day : August 18, 2019

hiatus \hye-AY-tus\ noun

Definition

1 a : a break in or as if in a material object : gap

b biology : a gap or passage in an anatomical part or organ

2 a : an interruption in time or continuity : break; especially : a period when something (as a program or activity) is suspended or interrupted

b : the occurrence of two vowel sounds without pause or intervening consonantal sound

Did You Know?

Hiatus comes from hiare, a Latin verb meaning "to gape" or "to yawn," and first appeared in English in the middle of the 16th century. Originally, the word referred to a gap or opening in something, such as a cave opening in a cliff. In the 18th century, British novelist Laurence Sterne used the word humorously in his novel Tristram Shandy, writing of "the hiatus in Phutatorius's breeches." These days, hiatus is usually used in a temporal sense to refer to a pause or interruption (as in a song), or a period during which an activity is temporarily suspended (such as a hiatus from teaching).

Aired August 18, 2019

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