Definition of diapause in English:


Line breaks: dia|pause
Pronunciation: /ˈdʌɪəpɔːz


[mass noun]
  • A period of suspended development in an insect, other invertebrate, or mammal embryo, especially during unfavourable environmental conditions.
    More example sentences
    • These ridges indicate the period of diapause during the winter or unfavorable environmental conditions, such as lower water level or lack of food.
    • Many of the insects that go into diapause are eggs and pupae awaiting the arrival of spring and its bounty of food before hatching into adults, Holscher said.
    • Eggs hatching from diapause introduce to current environments species or genotypes laid at times in the distant past.


[no object] (usually as adjective diapausing) Back to top  
  • (Of an insect or other animal) undergo a period of suspended development.
    More example sentences
    • Migratory birds and diapausing insects are present throughout the arctic, and thus overall herbivory in arctic systems may remain highly seasonal.
    • The larval generation and adult flight order is as indicated because offspring from third-flight individuals overwinter as diapausing pupae and emerge the following spring.
    • Active individuals only reappear in the water column in autumn when diapausing eggs begin hatching in autumn after fish predation intensity declines.


late 19th century: from dia- 'through' + the noun pause.

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