fissure

noun
fis·sure | \ˈfi-shər \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for fissure

Synonyms: Noun

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

But entire new roads would likely have to be built to bring the equipment to the precise fissures in the jungle that drop down into the complex. Time, "Grandfather of Trapped Thai Boy Says He’ll ‘Never Let Them Near a Cave Again’," 5 July 2018 Perhaps the most useful tools for identifying the fissures in the party’s ranks are questions related to the Mueller investigation and the rule of law. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "The Anti-Trump Right Has Become Trump’s Base," 3 July 2018 President Donald Trump’s suggestion to have Russia rejoin the Group of Seven industrialized nations and his recent imposition of metals tariffs on U.S. allies rattled the start of the G-7 summit, exposing fissures among the group’s members. Rebecca Ballhaus, WSJ, "Donald Trump’s Call for Russia to Rejoin G-7 Jolts Start of Summit," 8 June 2018 But more importantly, the controversy reveals profound fissures within American society. Andrew Malcolm, San Francisco Chronicle, "NFL controversy is about so much more than a flag," 31 May 2018 In other places, red intrusions of what are now called lava dikes (molten magma that seeped through fissures in the sandstone and then hardened) march down the hillsides in perfectly straight lines. USA TODAY, "Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan warn: Beautiful, unspoiled landscapes are disappearing," 25 May 2018 The video was taken on Sunday at the 8th of 24 fissures, which is located in the lower east rift zone near Leilani Estates. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "Lava 'rapids' from Kilauea are flowing through Hawaii at 15 mph," 22 June 2018 Four weeks have passed since the first eruption rocked Hawaii's Big Island and lava continues oozing from volcanic fissures, burning homes to the ground and turning into rivers of molten rock. Scott Mclean, CNN, "Magnitude 5.5 earthquake strikes Kilauea summit, sending ash plumes up to 8,000 feet," 4 June 2018 Whereas Kilauea, a shield volcano, is characterized by large globs of slow-moving lava inching out of fissures, Fuego, a stratovolcano, is prone to spewing fast-moving flows of ash, lava, and mud. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "Why Guatemala's Volcano Is Deadlier Than Hawaii's," 4 June 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fissure

Statistics for fissure

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fissure

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fissure

fissure

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fissure

: a narrow opening or crack

fissure

noun
fis·sure | \ˈfi-shər \

Kids Definition of fissure

: a narrow opening or crack

fissure

noun
fis·sure | \ˈfish-ər, British also ˈfish-yu̇r\

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

d : anterior median fissure also : posterior median septum

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 \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on fissure

What made you want to look up fissure? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to reject or criticize sharply

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!