Word of the Day : May 13, 2012


noun hye-AY-tus


1 a : a break in or as if in a material object : gap

b : a gap or passage in an anatomical part or organ

2 a : an interruption in time or continuity : break; especially : a period when something (as a program or activity) is suspended or interrupted

b : the occurrence of two vowel sounds without pause or intervening consonantal sound

Did You Know?

"Hiatus" comes from "hiare," a Latin verb meaning "to gape" or "to yawn," and first appeared in English in the middle of the 16th century. Originally, the word referred to a gap or opening in something, such as a cave opening in a cliff. In the 18th century, Laurence Sterne used the word humorously in his novel Tristram Shandy, writing of "the hiatus in Phutatorius's breeches." These days, "hiatus" is usually used in a temporal sense to refer to a pause or interruption (as in a song), or a period during which an activity is temporarily suspended (such as a hiatus from teaching).


The band released several hit albums in the '90s and aughts, and then went on hiatus.

"Wasting no time, Joshua Michael Stern is set to begin principal photography in May while [Ashton] Kutcher is on hiatus from the CBS sitcom 'Two and a Half Men.' Kutcher is a natural to play Jobs; the resemblance between the two is unmistakable." - From an article by Pamela McClintock in The Hollywood Reporter, April 1, 2012

Test Your Memory

What is the meaning of " patagium," our Word of the Day from April 27? The answer is ...


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