scis·​sion | \ ˈsi-zhən How to pronounce scission (audio) \

Definition of scission

1 : a division or split in a group or union : schism
2 : an action or process of cutting, dividing, or splitting : the state of being cut, divided, or split

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Did You Know?

You may suspect that a connection exists between "scission" and "scissors," but, actually, their etymologies are sharply divided. "Scission" traces to the Latin verb scindere ("to split" or "to cut"). "Scissors," on the other hand, comes from an entirely separate Latin verb that also means "to cut" - "caedere." The Middle English word for the cutting instrument was "cisours" or "sisoures," which comes from Middle French cisoires. An "sc" spelling appeared only in the 16th century when, apparently, the word for the cutting instrument was mistakenly taken to have derived, like "scission," from "scindere."

Examples of scission in a Sentence

fears that the scission of the labor union will compromise the workers' bargaining power
Recent Examples on the Web The structure is easily broken down in a reaction called scission (like scissors), which tears up the polymer chain. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Your Face Mask in the Garbage Could Make a Great Biofuel," 5 Aug. 2020 Using IVs that are sanitized between trees, park service workers make a minimally invasive scission in order to treat the tree, according to Jason Gillis, park arborist for National Mall and Memorial Parks. Paulina Smolinski, USA TODAY, "Here's how the National Park Service is saving D.C.'s trees from Dutch elm disease," 19 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scission.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of scission

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scission

Middle English (Scots) scissione, from Late Latin scission-, scissio, from Latin scindere

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The first known use of scission was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Scission.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

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scis·​sion | \ ˈsizh-ən How to pronounce scission (audio) \

Medical Definition of scission

: an action or process of cutting, dividing, or splitting : the state of being cut, divided, or split single strand scissions in DNA

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