diapause

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noun dia·pause \ˈdī-ə-ˌpȯz\

Definition of diapause

  1. :  a period of physiologically enforced dormancy between periods of activity

diapause was our Word of the Day on 04/01/2015. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Diapause, from the Greek word diapausis, meaning "pause," may have been coined by the entomologist William Wheeler in 1893. Wheeler's focus was insects, but diapause, a spontaneous period of suspended animation that seems to happen in response to adverse environmental conditions, also occurs in the development of crustaceans, snails, and other animals. Exercising poetic license, novelist Joyce Carol Oates even gave the word a human application in her short story "Visitation Rights" (1988): "Her life, seemingly in shambles, ... was not ruined; ... injured perhaps, and surely stunted, but only temporarily. There had been a diapause, and that was all...."

Origin and Etymology of diapause

Greek diapausis pause, from diapauein to pause, from dia- + pauein to stop


Medical Dictionary

diapause

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noun dia·pause \ˈdī-ə-ˌpȯz\

Medical Definition of diapause

  1. :  a period of physiologically enforced dormancy between periods of activity


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