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diaeresis Line breaks: di¦aer|esis
Pronunciation: /dʌɪˈɪərɪsɪs/
(US dieresis)

Definition of diaeresis in English:

noun (plural diaereses dʌɪˈɪərɪsiːzdʌɪˈɛrɪsiːz)

1A mark (¨) placed over a vowel to indicate that it is sounded separately, as in naïve, Brontë.
Example sentences
  • As several commenters have pointed out, both publications insist on using the diaeresis mark (as in naïve, for example) even though it hasn't been in common usage for several decades at least.
  • The New Yorker is probably the last popular magazine in the English-speaking world where the editors insist on the diaeresis (not umlaut) in ‘cöoperate’.
  • No diacritic marks are normally used for native English words, unless the apostrophe and the diaeresis sign are counted as such.
1.1 [mass noun] The division of a sound into two syllables, especially by sounding a diphthong as two vowels.
2 Prosody A natural rhythmic break in a line of verse where the end of a metrical foot coincides with the end of a phrase.


Late 16th century (denoting the division of one syllable into two): via Latin from Greek diairesis 'separation', from diairein 'take apart', from dia 'apart' + hairein 'take'.

Definition of diaeresis in:
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