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[fish-er] /ˈfɪʃ ər/
a narrow opening produced by cleavage or separation of parts.
cleavage (def 1).
Anatomy. a natural division or groove in an organ, as in the brain.
verb (used with object), fissured, fissuring.
to make fissures in; cleave; split.
verb (used without object), fissured, fissuring.
to open in fissures; become split.
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin fissūra cleaving, cleft, fissure, equivalent to fiss(us) divided (see fissi-) + -ūra -ure
Related forms
fissural, adjective
fissureless, adjective
subfissure, noun
superfissure, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fissures
  • New mud bubbles-smaller fissures where mud and gas escape to the surface-continue to pop up across the landscape.
  • The case is somewhat different when, as with glaciers, the water disseminated in the compressed ice can escape through fissures.
  • In some ways, pollution of caves is inevitable due to the cracks and fissures in the rock surrounding them.
  • Doing so creates fissures in the shale that release gas up a well.
  • These huge contradictions-we're starting to see the fissures resulting from them now.
  • Anyway, a few small fissures are beginning to appear in the stone wall.
  • The city's fissures opened and settled into standing disputes.
  • Some collisions occurring near or at the inner surface created fissures.
  • The entire north face of the mountain, it turned out, was made of crumbly rock riddled with cracks and fissures.
  • So you'll have to use fissures, knot holes and even bullet holes to sense rather than see him.
British Dictionary definitions for fissures


any long narrow cleft or crack, esp in a rock
a weakness or flaw indicating impending disruption or discord: fissures in a decaying empire
(anatomy) a narrow split or groove that divides an organ such as the brain, lung, or liver into lobes See also sulcus
a small unnatural crack in the skin or mucous membrane, as between the toes or at the anus
a minute crack in the surface of a tooth, caused by imperfect joining of enamel during development
to crack or split apart
Word Origin
C14: from medical Latin fissūra, from Latin fissus split
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fissures



c.1400, from Old French fissure (13c.) and directly from Latin fissura "a cleft," from root of findere "to split, cleave," from PIE *bhi-n-d-, from root *bheid- "to split" (cf. Sanskrit bhinadmi "I cleave," Old High German bizzan "to bite," Old English bita "a piece bitten off, morsel," Old Norse beita "to hunt with dogs," beita "pasture, food").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fissures in Medicine

fissure fis·sure (fĭsh'ər)

  1. A deep furrow, cleft, or slit.

  2. A developmental break or fault in the enamel of a tooth.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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fissures in Science
A long, narrow crack or opening in the face of a rock. Fissures are often filled with minerals of a different type from those in the surrounding rock.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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