di·​aer·​e·​sis | \ dī-ˈer-ə-səs How to pronounce diaeresis (audio) , British also -ˈir- \
variants: or
plural diaereses\ dī-​ˈer-​ə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce diaereses (audio) , British also  -​ˈir-​ \

Definition of diaeresis

1 : a mark ¨ placed over a vowel to indicate that the vowel is pronounced in a separate syllable (as in naïve or Brontë) — compare umlaut
2 : the break in a verse caused by the coincidence of the end of a foot with the end of a word

Other Words from diaeresis

diaeretic \ ˌdī-​ə-​ˈre-​tik How to pronounce diaeretic (audio) \ adjective

First Known Use of diaeresis

circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for diaeresis

Late Latin diaeresis, from Greek diairesis, literally, division, from diairein to divide, from dia- + hairein to take

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The first known use of diaeresis was circa 1611

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Cite this Entry

“Diaeresis.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diaeresis. Accessed 28 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on diaeresis

Nglish: Translation of diaeresis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about diaeresis

Comments on diaeresis

What made you want to look up diaeresis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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