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 diaeresis (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 diaeresis (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.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diaeresis. Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on diaeresis

Nglish: Translation of diaeresis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about diaeresis

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