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From Latin hypodiastolē, from Ancient Greek ὑποδιαστολή (hupodiastolḗ), from ὑπό (hupó, under, lower) + διαστολή (diastolḗ, separation, distinction), from διαστέλλω (diastéllō, separate), from διά (diá, through, during) + στέλλω (stéllō, order, arrange).


  • IPA(key): /ˌhaɪpədaɪˈæstəli/


hypodiastole (plural hypodiastoles)

  1. A mark⟩ in late Classical and Byzantine Greek used as a form of interpunct to show two words should be read separately in situations where they might otherwise be confused with an identically spelled single word.

Usage notesEdit

Eventually entirely conflated with the similarly-shaped Greek comma and then made obsolete by the advent of spacing, the hypodiastole now only appears in a few cases, such as distinguishing ό,τι (ó,ti) and ότι (óti). In all such modern cases, the Greek comma (identical in Unicode with the Latin comma) is used. The Unicode point for the hypodiastole is solely intended for its appearance in historical texts.


Related termsEdit

  • enotikon, Greek hyphen: the corresponding mark used to combine terms which might otherwise be read separately