epiph·​y·​sis | \ i-ˈpi-fə-səs How to pronounce epiphysis (audio) \
plural epiphyses\ i-​ˈpi-​fə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce epiphyses (audio) \

Definition of epiphysis

1 : a part or process of a bone that ossifies separately and later becomes ankylosed to the main part of the bone especially : an end of a long bone

Examples of epiphysis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Meanwhile, the epiphyses on the ischium and the ends of the femur and shin bone (tibia) were well-developed but hadn’t yet fused—in other words, DH7 wasn’t a very young child but was definitely still growing. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Anthropologists describe the first skeleton of a Homo naledi child," 10 Apr. 2020 Vidyadhar Upasani, a pediatric orthopedist at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, uses 3-D printing to help plan intricate bone procedures to treat, for example, slipped capital femoral epiphysis, the most common hip disorder in adolescents. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, "Surgeons are using 3-D-printed organs to figure out the best way to operate," 11 June 2018

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

First Known Use of epiphysis

1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for epiphysis

New Latin, from Greek, growth, from epiphyesthai to grow on, from epi- + phyesthai to grow, middle voice of phyein to bring forth — more at be

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about epiphysis

Time Traveler for epiphysis

Time Traveler

The first known use of epiphysis was in 1634

See more words from the same year

Statistics for epiphysis

Cite this Entry

“Epiphysis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epiphysis. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for epiphysis


epiph·​y·​sis | \ i-ˈpif-ə-səs How to pronounce epiphysis (audio) \
plural epiphyses\ -​ˌsēz How to pronounce epiphyses (audio) \

Medical Definition of epiphysis

1 : a part or process of a bone that ossifies separately and later becomes ankylosed to the main part of the bone especially : the usually rounded end of the shaft of a long bone that is composed mainly of cancellous bone covered by a thin layer of compact bone — compare diaphysis

More from Merriam-Webster on epiphysis

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about epiphysis

Comments on epiphysis

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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