from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Variant of dieresis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A diacritic placed over a vowel letter indicating that it is sounded separately, usually forming a distinct syllable, as in naïve, Noël, Brontë.
  • n. The separation of a vowel, often a diphthong, into two distinct syllables.
  • n. A natural break in rhythm when a word ends at the end of a metrical foot, in a line of verse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The separation or resolution of one syllable into two; -- the opposite of synæresis.
  • n. 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.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See dieresis.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a diacritical mark (two dots) placed over a vowel in German to indicate a change in sound


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek διαίρεσις ("division, split"), from διά (dia, "apart") + αἱρέω (aireō, "I take").



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  • Not surprisingly, perhaps, weirdnet got it wrong again. Diaeresis, or in U.S. spelling, dieresis, indicates that a vowel is to be pronounced separately and not as a diphthong, and in naïve. It's the umlaut (which looks like diaresis) that changes the quality of the vowel, as in Übermensch.

    December 2, 2007

  • Ha!

    Only if you don't spell it logorrhoea. Gosh, that spelling is gross.

    October 29, 2007

  • Or even logorrhea, which I think is appropriately descriptive.

    October 29, 2007

  • Or worse (somehow): diarrhoea.

    October 29, 2007

  • Aww, I wish this word didn't make me think of diarrhea... :-(

    October 29, 2007