- the separation of two consecutive vowels, esp. of a diphthong, into two syllables
- a mark (¨) placed over the second of two consecutive vowels to show that it is pronounced in a separate syllable: the dieresis is now usually replaced by a hyphen (reënter, re-enter) or simply omitted (cooperate, naive): the mark is also used, as in this dictionary, to show a certain pronunciation of a vowel (ä, ë, ö, ü)
- Prosody a slight break or pause in a line of verse, resulting when the end of a metric foot coincides with the end of a word
Origin of dieresisLate Latin diaeresis from Classical Greek diairesis, division from diairein, to divide, separate from dia-, apart + hairein, to take: see heresy
nounpl. di·er·e·ses, or di·aer·e·ses
- Linguistics a. A mark (&thin;¨&thin;) placed over the second of two adjacent vowels to indicate that they are to be pronounced as separate sounds rather than a diphthong, as in naïve.b. A mark (&thin;¨&thin;) placed over a vowel, such as the final vowel in Brontë, to indicate that the vowel is not silent.
- A break or pause in a line of verse that occurs when the end of a word and the end of a metrical foot coincide.
Origin of dieresisLate Latin diaeresis from Greek diairesis from diairein to divide dia- apart ; see dia- . hairein to take
- Alternative form of diaeresis.