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 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 One lacuna in this report is the lack of attention to agricultural habitats as an important repository of bird diversity. Neha Jain, Quartz India, "Indian birdwatchers warn that almost all local birds are dying out," 24 Feb. 2020 With a lacuna of primary evidence, Chinese historians have turned to alternate sources including fascinating insights drawn from song lyrics and poetry. Beth Py-lieberman, Smithsonian, "Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2019," 28 Nov. 2019 There has always been a lacuna among the books, maps and newspaper clippings that comprise the neighborhood history collection and that’s a piece of one of Georgetown’s most famous houses: the Key Mansion. John Kelly, Washington Post, "This McLean used book sale turns 50 this year. It features very D.C. titles.," 11 Sep. 2019 In a wide-ranging and learned reflection, drawing on great Russian and early Christian thinkers, there is one huge lacuna: any negative reference to the communist regime which in 1923 closed Sarov’s once-magnificent monastery and its nine churches. The Economist, "Church leaders in central and eastern Europe remain surprisingly loth to condemn their old adversary," 11 Aug. 2019 Perhaps these lacunae are meant to unsettle plaintiffs in Sierra Club and the half-dozen other lawsuits challenging Mr Trump’s emergency cash transfer by executive fiat. S.m. | New York, The Economist, "The Supreme Court’s ruling on the border wall leaves unanswered questions," 29 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for lacuna

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The first known use of lacuna was in 1652

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Cite this Entry

“Lacuna.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for lacuna


How to pronounce lacuna (audio)

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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