pa·​raph·​y·​sis pə-ˈra-fə-səs How to pronounce paraphysis (audio)
plural paraphyses pə-ˈra-fə-ˌsēz How to pronounce paraphysis (audio)
: one of the slender sterile filaments borne among the sporogenous or gametogenous organs in certain ferns, mosses, algae, and fungi

Word History


New Latin, from Greek, sucker, offshoot, from paraphyein to produce at the side, from para- + phyein to bring forth — more at be

First Known Use

1800, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of paraphysis was in 1800

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Cite this Entry

“Paraphysis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


pa·​raph·​y·​sis pə-ˈraf-ə-səs How to pronounce paraphysis (audio)
plural paraphyses -ˌsēz How to pronounce paraphysis (audio)
: one of the slender sterile often septate filaments of many cryptogamic plants (as fungi) that are borne among the spore- or gamete-forming organs, are single or branched, and are composed of one or more cells
: a median evagination of the roof of the telencephalon anterior to the epiphysis of certain lower vertebrates that is present only in the embryo of higher vertebrates

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