Medical Definition of Hiatus

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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.

CONTINUE SCROLLING OR CLICK HERE FOR RELATED ARTICLE
Reviewed on 12/11/2018

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors