from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Anatomy A natural swelling, projection, or outgrowth of an organ or part, such as the process of a vertebra.
  • n. Geology A branch from a dike or vein.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A natural outgrowth, swelling or enlargement, usually of an organism; A protuberance on a bone.
  • n. A branch of a dike or vein

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A marked prominence or process on any part of a bone.
  • n. An enlargement at the top of a pedicel or stem, as seen in certain mosses.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In anatomy: Any process of bone; an out-growth of bone; a mere projection or protuberance, which has no independent ossific center, and is thus distinguished from an epiphysis (which see); specifically, any process of a vertebra, whether it has such a center, and thus is epiphysial in nature, or not: in the former case, a vertebral apophysis is called autogenous or endogenous; in the latter, exogenous. A process or outgrowth of some organ of the body, as the brain: as, apophysis cerebri, the pituitary body. See cut under brain. In chitons, a process of one of the plates, inserted into the mantle.
  • n. In botany, a swelling under the base of the theca or spore-case of some mosses, as in species of Splachnum. See cut under Andreæa.
  • n. In geology, a term applied to the arms which often extend outward in a horizontal direction from the main mass or dike of an intrusive igneous rock.
  • n. In architecture, same as apophyge.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (botany) a natural swelling or enlargement: at the base of the stalk or seta in certain mosses or on the cone scale of certain conifers
  • n. (anatomy) a natural outgrowth or projection on an organ or body part such as the process of a vertebra


New Latin, from Greek apophusis, from apophuein, to send out branches : apo-, apo- + phuein, to grow; see bheuə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Greek απόφυσις (offshoot), from ἀπό + φύειν (to bring forth), from Proto-Indo-European base *bheu- (to exist, to grow). (Wiktionary)



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