Definitions

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

  • n. A long narrow opening; a crack or cleft.
  • n. The process of splitting or separating; division.
  • n. A separation into subgroups or factions; a schism.
  • n. Anatomy A normal groove or furrow, as in the liver or brain, that divides an organ into lobes or parts.
  • n. Medicine A break in the skin, usually where it joins a mucous membrane, producing a cracklike sore or ulcer.
  • transitive v. To form a crack or cleft or cause a crack or cleft in.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a crack or opening, as in a rock
  • v. To split forming fissures.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A narrow opening, made by the parting of any substance; a cleft.
  • transitive v. To cleave; to divide; to crack or fracture.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A narrow longitudinal opening or groove; a cleft, crack, or chink; a line of separation in any substance produced by parting or cleavage: as, a fissure in the earth or in a rock.
  • n. In surgery and anatomy, any solution of continuity in a bone, membrane, or muscle, or a natural division or groove between adjoining parts of like substance; a fissura: a sulcus: as, the longitudinal fissure of the brain, separating the hemispheres.
  • n. In entomology: A deep, sharp longitudinal depression of a surface.
  • n. A very deep angular notch in a margin, almost dividing the part or organ.
  • n. In botany, the opening between segments of a cleft leaf or other organ; a slit formed by the dehiscence of an anther or a capsule.
  • n. In heraldry, a bearing resembling the bend sinister, but having one fourth the width of the bend, and capable of being borne on any part of the shield, sometimes in connection with others, sometimes with a bend sinister, a scarpe, or the like. Also called staff.
  • n. In pathology, a crack-like sore or ulcer: as, an anal fissure.
  • n. See the adjectives.
  • To cleave; split; divide; crack or fracture.
  • To crack; cleave; split open.
  • n. A longitudinal depression on the under surface of the liver.

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

  • n. a long narrow opening
  • n. a long narrow depression in a surface
  • v. break into fissures or fine cracks
  • n. (anatomy) a long narrow slit or groove that divides an organ into lobes

Etymologies

Middle English, cut, from Old French, from Latin fissūra, from fissus, split; see fissi-.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The spinal cord is divided in front through the middle nearly as far as its center, by a deep fissure, called the _anterior fissure_, and behind, in a similar manner, by the posterior _fissure_.

    The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English or, Medicine Simplified, 54th ed., One Million, Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand

  • The term fissure is applied to such grooves as involve the entire thickness of the cerebral wall, and thus produce corresponding eminences in the ventricular cavity, while the sulci affect only the superficial part of the wall, and therefore leave no impressions in the ventricle.

    IX. Neurology. 2. Development of the Nervous System

  • A noxious, sulfuric smell that says that this fissure is a vent for the same gases that make the hot springs so warm and bubbly.

    Boing Boing: September 24, 2006 - September 30, 2006 Archives

  • It is sometimes called the fissure of Rolando, after an 18th-century Italian anatomist, Luigi Rolando, who was the first to describe it carefully.

    The Human Brain

  • This circumstance is considered by the Uzbeks as a miracle, and attributed by them to the son of David; but the more natural explanation would be, that a considerable fissure from the bed of the Oxus, which, from a point at a greater elevation, finds its exit here, and in the lapse of ages having discharged its stream of water impregnated with fine sand, has given rise to the monticule as it now appears, and whose dimensions will probably still increase.

    Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia

  • The results can only be credibly attributed to the influence of such strategic choice if the fissure is a hidden one, because once the fissure has already surfaced it is just a matter of time rather than the result of your action/inaction.

    Archive 2006-07-01

  • The sunlight showed, too, that the fissure was the skylight of a cave which opened out on the ravine.

    Tropic Days

  • Referring again to the search for the crack, it is well to know that with toe-crack the fissure is the more readily seen when the foot is lifted from the ground.

    Diseases of the Horse's Foot

  • We did so, but it appeared that the spot at which we originally struck the fissure was the narrowest place; it widened at either side.

    Chatterbox, 1905.

  • The gray or ganglionic covering of the wall of the vesicle ends at the inferior margin of the fissure is a thickened edge; beneath this the marginal or reticular layer (future white substance) is exposed and its lower thinned edge is continuous with the epithelial invagination covering the choroid plexus (Fig. 656).

    IX. Neurology. 2. Development of the Nervous System

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