Hiatus

woman with abdominal pain

Medical Definition of Hiatus

Hiatus: An opening, as in the diaphragm. When there is an unusually wide opening in the diaphragm, there can be a hiatus (or hiatal) hernia.

In Latin an hiatus is "an opening, gaping mouth, or chasm." It is derived from the verb "hiare" meaning "to gape or yawn." Therefore, a "hiatus" is a gaping opening in anything, such as the opening in a cliff leading into a cave or a break in the conversation in which nothing happens or is said.


Quick GuideDigestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions

Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions

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Reviewed on 6/9/2016

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