Word of the Day – Hiatus

Word of the Day  : February 24, 2023


noun hye-AY-tus

What It Means

  • In general contexts, hiatus usually refers to a period of time when something, such as an activity or program, is suspended. In biology, hiatus refers to a gap or passage in an anatomical part or organ, and in linguistics, it denotes the occurrence of two vowel sounds without pause or intervening consonantal sound.
  • // The band has been on hiatus for three years, but is returning to live performance this summer.
  • See the entry >

HIATUS In Context

“With the release of The Mandalorian season 3 just over six weeks away, after a two-year hiatus, Lucasfilm dropped a new trailer on Monday, giving us a glimpse of what’s next in the adventures of Din Djarin and Grogu.” — Oli Welsh, Polygon.com, 16 Jan. 2023

Did you Know?

This brief hiatus in your day is brought to you by, well, hiatus. While the word now most often refers to a temporary pause, hiatus originally referred to a physical opening in something, such as the mouth of a cave, or, as the 18th century British novelist Laurence Sterne would have it, a sartorial gap: in the wildly experimental novel Tristram Shandy, Sterne wrote of “the hiatus in Phutatorius’s breeches.” Hiatus comes from the Latin verb hiare, meaning “to open wide,” which makes it a distant relation of both yawn and chasm. And that’s all we have for now—you may resume your regular activities.