• synonyms


[dih-his-uh ns]
  1. Biology. the release of materials by the splitting open of an organ or tissue.
  2. Botany. the natural bursting open of capsules, fruits, anthers, etc., for the discharge of their contents.
  3. Surgery. the bursting open of a surgically closed wound.
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Origin of dehiscence

1820–30; < New Latin dēhiscentia, equivalent to Latin dēhiscent- stem of dēhiscēns, present participle of dēhiscere (see dehisce) + -ia; see -ence
Related formsde·his·cent, adjectivenon·de·his·cent, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dehiscence

Historical Examples

  • But some fruits are indehiscent, falling to Dehiscence of fruits.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 11, Slice 3


  • Septicidal, where dehiscence is through the partitions, 123.

  • Septifragal, where the valves in dehiscence break away from the partitions, 123.

  • In these the dehiscence extends all round, or is circumscissile.

  • Dehiscence, the regular splitting open of capsule or anther, 103, 119.

Word Origin and History for dehiscence


1828, from Modern Latin dehiscentia, from dehiscentem (nominative dehiscens), present participle of dehiscere "to gape, open, split down" (of the earth, etc.), from de- (see de-) + hiscere, inchoative of hiare "to yawn" (see yawn (v.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dehiscence in Medicine


  1. A bursting open or splitting along natural or sutured lines.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

dehiscence in Science


  1. The spontaneous opening at maturity of a plant structure, such as a fruit, anther, or sporangium, to release its contents. Compare indehiscence.
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Related formsdehisce verb
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.