Word of the Day

diapause

audio pronunciation
April 01, 2015
noun
\DYE-uh-pawz\
Definition
: a period of physiologically enforced dormancy between periods of activity
Examples
Although insects most often enter diapause when they are pupae, diapause can occur during any life stage.

"Last week I discovered dozens of Monarch butterfly eggs at the ranch when a cold front pushed … migrants down to the Texas funnel. The early moving butterflies broke their reproductive diapause to lay hundreds of eggs." — Monica Maeckle, MySanAntonio.com, September 25, 2014
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Did You Know?
Diapause, from the Greek word diapausis, meaning "pause," may have been coined by the entomologist William Wheeler in 1893. Wheeler's focus was insects, but diapause, a spontaneous period of suspended animation that seems to happen in response to adverse environmental conditions, also occurs in the development of crustaceans, snails, and other animals. Exercising poetic license, novelist Joyce Carol Oates even gave the word a human application in her short story "Visitation Rights" (1988): "Her life, seemingly in shambles, ... was not ruined; ... injured perhaps, and surely stunted, but only temporarily. There had been a diapause, and that was all...."

Test Your Vocabulary: Fill in the blanks to create a verb meaning "to pass the summer in a state of torpor": _ s _ iv _ te. The answer is …
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