n. pl. hi·a·tus·es or hiatus
1. A gap or interruption in space, time, or continuity; a break: "We are likely to be disconcerted by ... hiatuses of thought" (Edmund Wilson).
2. Linguistics A slight pause that occurs when two immediately adjacent vowels in consecutive syllables are pronounced, as in reality and naive.
3. Anatomy A separation, aperture, fissure, or short passage in an organ or body part.
[Latin hiātus, from past participle of hiāre, to gape.]
hi·atal (-ātl) adj.
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