la·​cu·​na | \ lə-ˈkü-nə How to pronounce lacuna (audio) , -ˈkyü- \
plural lacunae\ lə-​ˈkyü-​(ˌ)nē How to pronounce lacuna (audio) , -​ˈkü-​ˌnī \ also lacunas\ lə-​ˈkü-​nəz How to pronounce lacuna (audio) , -​ˈkyü-​ \

Definition of lacuna

1 : a blank space or a missing part : gap the evident lacunae in his story— Shirley Hazzard also : deficiency sense 1 despite all these lacunae, those reforms were a vast improvement New Republic
2 : a small cavity, pit, or discontinuity in an anatomical structure

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Other Words from lacuna

lacunar \ lə-​ˈkü-​nər How to pronounce lacuna (audio) , -​ˈkyü-​ \ or less commonly lacunate \ lə-​ˈkü-​nət How to pronounce lacuna (audio) , -​ˈkyü-​ , -​ˌnāt ; ˈla-​kyə-​ˌnāt \ adjective

Did You Know?

Exploring the etymology of lacuna involves taking a plunge into the pit - or maybe a leap into the "lacus" (that's the Latin word for "lake"). Latin speakers modified "lacus" into "lacuna," and used it to mean "pit," "cleft," or "pool." English speakers borrowed the term in the 17th century. Another English word that traces its origin to "lacuna" is "lagoon," which came to us by way of Italian and French.

Examples of lacuna in a Sentence

She found a lacuna in the historical record. attributes many of the nation's problems to a lacuna of leadership at the top
Recent Examples on the Web This lacuna should be filled by two recent books - Charles Townsend’s ‘The Partition’ and Ivan Gibbons ‘Partition’. Mike O'sullivan, Forbes, "What’s Behind The Violence In Northern Ireland?," 11 Apr. 2021 The lacuna is a reminder: Despite the emerging consensus that the GOP is a working-class party, there is little agreement on what such a party should stand for. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "The Working-Class GOP: A Muddled Concept," 3 Apr. 2021 The discovery of that lacuna yielded the discoveries of more gaps, as Mrs. Holladay gradually realized the near-total absence of women from art museums and art history books. Washington Post, "Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, champion of women in the arts, dies at 98," 9 Mar. 2021 But the survey had a gaping lacuna: it was conducted by phone only in English or Spanish. Amy Yee, Scientific American, "It's a Myth That Asian-Americans Are Doing Well in the Pandemic," 2 Mar. 2021 It’s a surprising lacuna in the work of a scholar who seems to have mined every newspaper report, memoir, living resident, and private archive of anyone who ever stayed at the hotel. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, "When the Barbizon Gave Women Rooms of Their Own," 1 Mar. 2021 No one has undertaken a chronicle from Alaric’s point of view, a lacuna that makes this book worthwhile—and hard to pull off. The Economist, "Goths v Romans A brilliant Goth’s-eye view of the sack of Rome," 20 June 2020 Learning softer skills and managerial skills will help fill the lacuna. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Even in lockdown, Indian professionals are trying to get a leg up at work," 5 May 2020 That legal lacuna has prompted questions during prior episodes where prime ministers fell ill or underwent surgery, and now looms large at a time when Britain faces its greatest crisis since World War II., "With Johnson ailing, UK faces a leadership quandary," 8 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lacuna.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lacuna

1652, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lacuna

Latin, pool, pit, gap — more at lagoon

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Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lacuna.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for lacuna



English Language Learners Definition of lacuna

formal : a gap or blank space in something : a missing part


la·​cu·​na | \ lə-ˈk(y)ü-nə How to pronounce lacuna (audio) \
plural lacunae\ -​ˈkyü-​(ˌ)nē How to pronounce lacuna (audio) , -​ˈkü-​ˌnī How to pronounce lacuna (audio) \

Medical Definition of lacuna

: a small cavity, pit, or discontinuity in an anatomical structure: as
a : one of the follicles in the mucous membrane of the urethra
b : one of the minute cavities in bone or cartilage occupied by the osteocytes

Other Words from lacuna

lacunar \ -​ˈk(y)ü-​nər How to pronounce lacuna (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on lacuna

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lacuna

Nglish: Translation of lacuna for Spanish Speakers

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