Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[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.
Origin of fissure
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. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for fissure
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The least fissure in the latter would have inundated the channel.

  • It is the sound of our souls escaping from some fissure of the brain.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • He walked and walked, and came to a hill: in that hill was a fissure, and in the fissure stood a hut.

    Russian Fairy Tales W. R. S. Ralston
  • She peered into the shadowy gulf, but could not see the bottom of the fissure.

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
  • It did not require long to find a spot where the fissure was easily leaped.

    Two Boys in Wyoming Edward S. Ellis
  • In Fig. 16 is shown a front view of the blossom, showing this fissure.

    My Studio Neighbors William Hamilton Gibson
  • The other had already disappeared; or else was killed, and had fallen down some fissure.

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens
  • From his position he could see about all there was to be seen in the fissure.

British Dictionary definitions for fissure


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for fissure

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
Cite This Source
fissure 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.
Cite This Source
fissure 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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for fissure

Difficulty index for fissure

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for fissure

Scrabble Words With Friends