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

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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

Thousands in the Puna area had to evacuate after the first fissure opened May 3. NBC News, "Hawaii volcano lava destroys hundreds of homes overnight," 6 June 2018 About 80 of those were destroyed in the Leilani Estates community, where lava-spouting fissures in the ground first opened on May 3 downhill from the volcano's eastern flank. Author: Terray Sylvester, Anchorage Daily News, "River of lava destroys scores more homes on Hawaii’s Big Island and fills in a bay," 6 June 2018 Thousands of people in the Puna area had to evacuate after the first fissure opened May 3. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, chicagotribune.com, "Hawaii volcano lava destroys hundreds of homes overnight," 5 June 2018 At least 24 fissures have opened in the ground there, several of them spewing fountains of lava. Heidi Chang, latimes.com, "Evacuations ordered in Hawaii as fast-moving lava threatens neighborhoods," 1 June 2018 With trade winds, communities where lava fissures have opened and those downwind are the most affected. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, BostonGlobe.com, "Besides lava and ash, Hawaii volcano is pumping out ‘vog’," 29 May 2018 With trade winds, communities where lava fissures have opened and those downwind are the most affected. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, The Seattle Times, "Besides lava and ash, Hawaii volcano is pumping out ‘vog’ — volcanic smog," 28 May 2018 More than 20 fissures have opened up, followed by lava plumes that dance and sway as the liquid boils up. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "Homeowner watches in awe as lava from Hawaii volcano flows ever closer to his home," 24 May 2018 So far, 20 fissures have opened up in the volcano's East Rift Zone, sending out spattering and slow-moving streams of lava. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "No, Hawaii's Volcano Won't Trigger a Mega-Tsunami," 17 May 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.

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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

11 Sep 2018

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 \

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

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Comments on fissure

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