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

  • n. A growing together of bones originally separate, as of the two pubic bones or the two halves of the lower jawbone.
  • n. A line or junction thus formed.
  • n. An articulation in which bones are united by cartilage without a synovial membrane.
  • n. The coalescence of similar parts or organs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The process of two, originally separate bones growing together as the mammalian subject matures, as with the pubic bones or lower jawbones in humans.
  • n. A line discernable on X-ray showing such fusion.
  • n. The cartilaginous material that adjoins and facilitates the junction of such bones, with or without synovia.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An articulation formed by intervening cartilage.
  • n. The union or coalescence of bones; also, the place of union or coalescence. Cf. articulation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In anatomy and zoology: The union or connection of bones in the middle line of the body, either by confluence, by direct apposition, or by the intervention of cartilage or ligament; also, the part, or configuration of parts, resulting from such union or connection.
  • n. Some point or line of union between two parts; a commissure; a chiasm: as, the symphysis of the optic nerves.
  • n. Attachment of one part to another; a growing together; insertion or gomphosis with union: as, the symphysis of teeth with the jaw. See acrodont, pleurodont.
  • n. Coalescence or growing together of parts so as to close a natural passage; atresia.
  • n. In botany, a coalescence or growing together of similar parts.

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

  • n. a growing together of parts or structures
  • n. an abnormal adhesion of two or more structures


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

Greek sumphusis, from sumphuein, to cause to grow together : sun-, syn- + phuein, to cause to grow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek, via sym- + φύσις ("growth")



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  • "'In the frigate-bird the symphysis of the furcula coalesces with the carina and the upper end of each ramus with the caracoid, while in turn each caracoid coalesces with the proximal end of the scapula! ... I believe this to be unique among existing birds, and closely related to the creature's flight.'"

    --O'Brian, The Wine-Dark Sea, 87

    March 14, 2008