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Vocabulary Words:
Hiatus or Lacuna?

These two Latin vocabulary words will help you build interesting lesson plans this fall. They will also help me explain why there has been no Latin Word of the Week for more than two months.

Our Latin Word of the Week is the perfect tool for building new knowledge of English vocabulary through Latin roots.

Latin Words of the Week

HIARE
to gape, to be open, to yawn

LACUNA
a pond; a ditch or pit; an opening or gap

Derivatives of HIARE: The Latin verb meaning to gape or to yawn provides a few English derivatives.
The Latin root may help students remember these SAT vocabulary words:

hiatus (n): an interruption or break in the continuity of work. Also any gap or opening. Also, in grammar, the union of two vowels in successive words: Be eager! (The hiatus is between the -e of 'be' and the e- of 'eager')

hiatal (adj): Having such a break or interruption.

The two month hiatus in John's pet project, The Latin Word of the Week, was caused by the birth of his first son, Malcolm.

Derivatives of LACUNA:

lacuna (n): a gap or missing part, usually in a manuscript or book. The true meaning of this Latin noun is a small lake. It is the diminutive form of lacus, meaning lake.

lacunae (n. pl.): being a first-declension noun, the plural ends in -ae.

lagoon (n): an area of shollow water separated from the sea by sand dunes.

lacunal (adj): having lacunae; of or pertaining to a lacuna.

lacunar (n): in architecture, a sunken panel, such as on a ceiling. (Plural = lacunaria)

lacunule (n): a small lacuna. (A double diminutive from lacus)

lacunose (n): full of holes. Can you write a sentence using the abstract noun lacunosity?

The worm-eaten manuscript was illegible because of its lacunosity.

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