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


Greek sumphusis, from sumphuein, to cause to grow together : sun-, syn- + phuein, to cause to grow.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek, via sym- + φύσις ("growth") (Wiktionary)



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