fissure

noun
fis·​sure | \ ˈfi-shər How to pronounce fissure (audio) \

Definition of fissure

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a narrow opening or crack of considerable length and depth usually occurring from some breaking or parting a fissure in the earth's crust
2a : a natural cleft between body parts or in the substance of an organ
b : a break or slit in tissue usually at the junction of skin and mucous membrane
3 : a separation or disagreement in thought or viewpoint : schism fissures in a political party

fissure

verb
fissured; fissuring

Definition of fissure (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to break into fissures : cleave

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Synonyms for fissure

Synonyms: Noun

check, chink, cleft, crack, cranny, crevice, rift, split

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Examples of fissure in a Sentence

Noun

a fissure in the Earth's crust a deep fissure in the ice

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Nearby Fremont Street was also closed following the discovery of the fissures. Alejandro Lazo, WSJ, "San Francisco’s Transit Center Ambitions Hit the Brakes," 28 Sep. 2018 Lava from one of the fissures entered Kapoho Bay late Sunday or early Monday, forcing billowing clouds of steam into the atmosphere as hot lava hit the cool water of the Pacific Ocean. Madison Park, CNN, "Lava filled up this Hawaiian bay and destroyed what could be hundreds of homes," 6 June 2018 Depending on which way the lava travels and where new fissures erupt, the only way out may be by helicopter. Denise Laitinen, USA TODAY, "Hawaii volcano leaves escape routes in doubt," 25 May 2018 Kilauea's continued eruptions — possibly a long windup to a major explosion at the summit — forced more evacuations Sunday as yet another fissure opened and spattered lava along the volcano's eastern flank . David Montero, latimes.com, "New fissure prompts more evacuations near Kilauea volcano," 14 May 2018 As that magma flows from the chamber and out of the fissures on the volcano’s flanks, the lava level in the center crater falls. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "“Explosive” Eruptions Possible at Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano," 11 May 2018 Narrow fissures appeared on the ground at a building overlooking the crater at Kilauea's summit. Bloomberg.com, "Hawaii Braces for Long Upheaval as Erupting Kilauea Boils," 6 May 2018 The eruption has already triggered hundreds of smaller earthquakes, and scientists have highlighted some warning signs to look out for ahead of new fissures. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is squirting lava and toxic gas through new cracks in the Earth," 6 May 2018 For example, sitz baths are recommended following surgeries to excise hemorrhoids, drain Bartholin’s cysts, and perform sphincterotomies (procedures to help heal anal fissures). Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What the Hell Is a Sitz Bath? (And Why Would You Take One?)," 14 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

An early morning alert issued by the U.S. Geological Survey reported sporadic eruptions from three Kilauea volcano fissures shooting lava 180 feet into the air. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "Fine, glass tendrils — Pele’s hair — are flying around Big Island after explosive eruption," 11 June 2018 Over the past week, the lava erupting from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano fissures advanced through two small residential subdivisions along Kapoho Bay, reaching the Pacific Ocean, and wiping out nearly a hundred homes. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, "Photo Updates From Kilauea: Dozens More Homes Destroyed," 6 June 2018 The trunk was fissured at the base, creating a seam wide enough to slip into—in other words, an absolutely perfect hiding place. David Gilbert, The New Yorker, "Fungus," 4 June 2017 This is far from the first time that fissures within the Republican party over immigration have been on public display. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "The biggest political story no one is talking about," 17 May 2018 About 100 million years ago, shifts in tectonic plates caused the region’s foundational limestone to begin to crack and fissure. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian, "Descend into the World’s Iciest Gateway to Hell," 30 Aug. 2017 Congressional Republicans return to work Monday after the Memorial Day recess facing enormous pressure to make progress on replacing the Affordable Care Act — a years-long campaign promise — but also fissures within the party about how to do so. John Fritze, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland advocates resist efforts to target Medicaid in federal funding fights," 3 June 2017 The lodge’s eight-week season begins in June, just as the pack ice that blankets the Northwest Passage begins to fissure and melt. Ashlea Halpern, WIRED, "Need a Memorial Day to Remember? Ice-Bike the Northwest Passage," 24 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fissure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fissure

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1656, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for fissure

Noun

Middle English, borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French fissure, borrowed from Latin fissūra "splitting, crack, opening," from fissus, past participle of findere "to split, cleave" + -ūra -ure — more at bite entry 1

Verb

derivative of fissure entry 1

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Statistics for fissure

Last Updated

24 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fissure

The first known use of fissure was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for fissure

fissure

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fissure

: a narrow opening or crack

fissure

noun
fis·​sure | \ ˈfi-shər How to pronounce fissure (audio) \

Kids Definition of fissure

: a narrow opening or crack

fissure

noun
fis·​sure | \ ˈfish-ər, British also ˈfish-yu̇r How to pronounce fissure (audio) \

Medical Definition of fissure

1 : a natural cleft between body parts or in the substance of an organ: as
a : any of several clefts separating the lobes of the liver
b : any of various clefts between bones or parts of bones in the skull
c : any of the deep clefts of the brain especially : one of those located at points of elevation in the walls of the ventricles — compare sulcus
2 : a break or slit in tissue usually at the junction of skin and mucous membrane fissure of the lip
3 : a linear developmental imperfection in the enamel of a tooth

Other Words from fissure

fissured \ ˈfish-​ərd, British also ˈfish-​yu̇rd How to pronounce fissured (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on fissure

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fissure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fissure

Spanish Central: Translation of fissure

Nglish: Translation of fissure for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fissure for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fissure

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