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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for fissure

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Trump piled on before and after, extending and deepening the fissure within conservatives. AZCentral.com, "Arizona becomes battleground in passionate, polarizing 2020," 22 Dec. 2020 The northern fissure, pictured, was producing the tallest lava fountain at roughly 50 m (165 ft), and all lava was contained within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Kīlauea caldera. NBC News, "Kilauea volcano erupts in Hawaii, residents asked to stay indoors," 21 Dec. 2020 In addition, radio host Rush Limbaugh this week also stated that perhaps a fissure in the U.S. was inevitable, given the chronic disagreements between conservatives and liberals. Dom Calicchio, Fox News, "Texas GOP Chair Allen West says SCOTUS setback may call for new 'union' of 'law-abiding states'," 13 Dec. 2020 In August, an auxiliary cable slipped from its socket and slashed a 100-foot fissure in the observatory’s reflector dish. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Massive Arecibo Telescope Collapses in Puerto Rico," 3 Dec. 2020 Also on the Gulf discussion lineup this week is an apparent White House push to mend the three-year fissure between the Arab states and Qatar. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Behind the final Trump team push for Saudi Arabia to 'normalize' ties with Israel," 3 Dec. 2020 The episode revealed a fissure that has been widening within the Republican Party for weeks as Trump has claimed falsely, again and again, that President-elect Joe Biden won through election fraud. Author: Amy Gardner, Keith Newell, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Someone’s going to get killed’: Republican election official in Georgia blames Trump for fostering threats of violence over election," 2 Dec. 2020 The fissure fractures the paintings’ reflections into jarringly radical angles, throwing the country’s past into a headlong collision with its present and future. Nancy Hass, New York Times, "A Cape Town Apartment That Speaks to the Past," 13 Nov. 2020 Appearing like a crack in the surface, the feature looks like a recent fissure eruption, where subsurface volcanic activity has caused superheated volcanic ash and dust to burst through the surface. Jonathan O’callaghan New York Times, Star Tribune, "Signs of recent volcanic eruption on Mars hint at habitats for life," 27 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "African scientists must make sure they are part of the search for a coronavirus vaccine," 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, "‘Too Much’: Dread Fills Puerto Ricans as New Earthquake Stuns Island," 11 Jan. 2020 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fissure

Time Traveler for fissure

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for fissure

Last Updated

27 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fissure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fissure. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

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 fissure (audio) \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on fissure

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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