dieresis

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n dieresis a diacritical mark (two dots) placed over a vowel in German to indicate a change in sound
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Dieresis A mark consisting of two dots [¨], placed over the second of two adjacent vowels, to denote that they are to be pronounced as distinct letters; as, coöperate aërial .
    • n Dieresis Same as Diæresis.
    • Dieresis (Gram) The separation or resolution of one syllable into two; -- the opposite of synæresis.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n dieresis The separate pronunciation of two vowels usually united as a diphthong; by extension of meaning, separate pronunciation of any two adjacent vowels, or the consequent division of one syllable into two. See dialysis and distraction, 8.
    • n dieresis The sign (¨) regularly placed over the second of two contiguous vowels to indicate that they are pronounced separately; the same sign used for other purposes. The dieresis is used most frequently over e preceded by a or o, in distinction from the diphthongs or digraphs œ and œ. In Greek manuscripts these dots were frequently written over ι and ν beginning a word or a syllable, thus serving also to show that they did not form the close of a diphthong (αι, ει, οι, νι, αν, εν, ον), and their modern use is an extension of this. The employment of the dieresis to mark the full pronunciation of the letters -ed, as termination of the preterit and past participle (for instance, praisëd), though sometimes seen, is not established usage, the acute or grave accent being more common. A similar sign consisting of dots is used merely as a diacritical mark, as in the notation of pronunciation in this book (for instance, ä, ö, ü). A similar mark is used in German to indicate the umlaut. See umlaut.
    • n dieresis In prosody, the division made in a line or a verse by coincidence of the end of a foot and the end of a word; especially, such a division at the close of a colon or rhythmic series. It is strictly distinct from, but often included under, cesura (which see).
    • n dieresis In pathology, a solution of continuity, as an ulcer or a wound.
    • n dieresis In crustaceans, the division in the outer branch of the last pleopods.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Dieresis a mark (¨) placed over one of two vowels to show that each is to be pronounced separately, as aërial
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. diaeresis, Gr. , fr. to divide; dia` through, asunder + to take. See Heresy
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr.,—dia, apart, hairein, to take.