fissiparous was our Word of the Day on 04/24/2014. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of fissiparous from the Web
When the year began, Nicholas II was clinging to his throne, Lenin was an exile in Zurich and the Bolsheviks were just one faction in a fissiparous revolutionary underground.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fissiparous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
When it first entered English in the 19th century, "fissiparous" was concerned with reproduction. In biology, a fissiparous organism is one that produces new individuals by fission; that is, by dividing into separate parts, each of which becomes a unique organism. (Most strains of bacteria do this.) Fissiparous derives from Latin fissus, the past participle of "findere" ("to split"), and parere, meaning "to give birth to or "to produce." Other "parere" offspring refer to other forms of reproduction, including "oviparous" ("producing eggs that hatch outside the body") and "viviparous" ("producing living young instead of eggs"). By the end of the 19th century "fissiparous" had acquired a figurative meaning, describing something that breaks into parts or causes something else to break into parts.
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