fissure

1 of 2

noun

fis·​sure ˈfi-shər How to pronounce fissure (audio)
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
2
a
: 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

2 of 2

verb

fissured; fissuring

transitive verb

: to break into fissures : cleave

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
Video shows fountains of bright-orange molten rock spewing from fissures in the ground up to 260 feet into the air. Alexandra Banner, CNN, 9 Feb. 2024 However, one of the new fissures opened entirely within the barricaded area, according to Icelandic broadcaster RUV. Catherine Duncan, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Jan. 2024 The eruption opened up a 2.5-mile-long fissure, sending thousands of cubic feet of lava across the landscape. Denise Chow, NBC News, 19 Dec. 2023 Many of Collins’ novels focus on marriage’s negative consequences for women and the fissures in personal identity imposed by the letter of the law. Katherine Hobbs, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Jan. 2024 The Israeli Supreme Court’s landmark decision to strike down part of Netanyahu’s planned judicial overhaul could reopen the fissures in Israeli society that preceded the war against Hamas. Samy Magdy, Twin Cities, 1 Jan. 2024 The lava flows seen before Monday’s rupture were fissure eruptions producing no ash and located further away from inhabited areas and infrastructure. Ragnhildur Sigurdardottir, Fortune Europe, 19 Dec. 2023 And the fissure itself was rapidly expanding to the south, becoming 4 km long by midnight. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, 19 Dec. 2023 State meteorologists predicted about midnight that the fissure was about 13,000 feet long, which is many times longer than other eruptions in the area in recent years, the South Iceland Volcanoes and Natural Hazard Group said in a Facebook post. Ben Brasch, Washington Post, 18 Dec. 2023
Verb
Beginning with the backlash to the 2008 election of Barack Obama, Lowery examines how American society has fissured in the past 15 years, profiling the victims of white supremacy and the institutions that support it. CALIFORNIA, A SLAVE STATE, by Jean Pfaelzer. New York Times, 23 June 2023 The other stream of cultural anthropology will continue to evolve and fissure, as a thousand 'discourses' bloom. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 25 Feb. 2013 But where some teams fissure under the weight of unfulfilled expectations, going through that experience collectively made this group even tighter. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 June 2021 The statements made by Camille Locht and Jean-Paul Mira fed into a world already fissured by deep-rooted racial and economic discrimination. Gale Ure, Quartz Africa, 25 Apr. 2020 Even before Saturday’s major aftershock, which fissured more roads and prompted more landslides, Puerto Rico estimated damages from a 6.4-magnitude quake on Tuesday at $110 million. Patricia Mazzei, New York Times, 11 Jan. 2020 This land is made of igneous rock fissured with gold. Juliana Hanle, Scientific American, 18 Nov. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fissure.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1656, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near fissure

Cite this Entry

“Fissure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fissure. Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

fissure

noun
fis·​sure
ˈfish-ər
1
: a narrow opening or crack
a fissure in rock
2
: a narrow natural space between body parts (as bones of the skull) or in the material making up an organ
fissure verb

Medical Definition

fissure

noun
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

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