fissure

noun
fis·​sure | \ ˈfi-shər How to pronounce fissure (audio) \

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

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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 As water accumulated in the basement pit, pressure built up and suddenly, perhaps through some fissure in the soil, a subterranean stream of green began pushing out from under the old factory. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Toxic liquid that gushed onto freeway took pollution experts by surprise," 24 Dec. 2019 The fissures in Jacksonville only deepened this offseason, with linebacker Telvin Smith stepping away from football and cornerback Jalen Ramsey pushing back against Coughlin after being criticized for voluntary workouts. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "NFL hot seat rankings: Jay Gruden, Jason Garrett already on notice?," 5 Sep. 2019 The key was differentiating between older, slower-moving lava oozing through cracks and fissures in the Earth and fresher, hotter lava that likely was being pumped up from far below the surface. Wired, "With Shovels and Drones, Volcano Hunters Probe Kilauea," 5 Dec. 2019 Even so, the 24 hours in London demonstrated that NATO suffers from significant fissures. Ivo Daalder, Twin Cities, "Ivo Daalder: NATO at 70: Cracks in alliance are significant," 9 Dec. 2019 Using satellite images and field data, Menegat was able to document a web of fractures underneath Machu, from small fissures running across individual boulders to a 107-mile-long fault responsible for the orientation of the rock in the river valley. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Research Suggests Machu Picchu Was Purposely Built On Top of Intersecting Fault Lines," 25 Sep. 2019 Koch grabbed a rope, lowered by another lifeguard through a fissure in the top of the cave, and tied it around Pham. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Misspelling leads to great story," 20 Sep. 2019 Another series of eruptions 100,000 years ago pushed Mammoth Mountain skyward and sent lava oozing through fissures in the Earth’s crust far below. Katherine Rodeghier, Dallas News, "Discover Mammoth Lakes, Yosemite’s lesser-known neighbor," 16 July 2019 On Monday, another fissure spewing lava and toxic gas opened up, and a crack in the earth that emerged a day earlier was sending molten rock crawling toward the ocean, officials said. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, USA TODAY, "Worried Hawaii homeowners want to know: Am I covered if a volcano burns down my house?," 15 May 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This land is made of igneous rock fissured with gold. Juliana Hanle, Scientific American, "The Fight for the Reindeer," 18 Nov. 2019 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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Time Traveler for fissure

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fissure

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fissure.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fissures. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for fissure

fissure

noun
How to pronounce fissure (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fissure

: a narrow opening or crack

fissure

noun
fis·​sure | \ ˈfi-shər How to pronounce fissure (audio) \

Kids Definition of fissure

: a narrow opening or crack

fissure

noun
fis·​sure | \ ˈfish-ər, British also ˈfish-yu̇r How to pronounce fissure (audio) \

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
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 How to pronounce fissured (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on fissure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fissure

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fissure

Spanish Central: Translation of fissure

Nglish: Translation of fissure for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fissure for Arabic Speakers

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