• synonyms


[dih-his-uh ns]
See more synonyms for dehiscence on Thesaurus.com
  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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for dehiscent

Historical Examples

  • Fruit 5-celled dehiscent pods, with many pendulous, winged seeds.

    Trees of the Northern United States

    Austin C. Apgar

  • Dehiscent: open or standing open: separating toward the tip.

  • The dehiscent cone distinguishes this group from the Cembrae.

    The Genus Pinus

    George Russell Shaw

  • From the latter it is also distinct in its dehiscent cone and in its seed.

    The Genus Pinus

    George Russell Shaw

  • From P. albicaulis, with similar leaves, it differs by its dehiscent cone.

    The Genus Pinus

    George Russell Shaw

British Dictionary definitions for dehiscent


  1. (of fruits, anthers, etc) opening spontaneously to release seeds or pollen
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Derived Formsdehiscence, noun
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

Word Origin and History for dehiscent



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

dehiscent 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.

dehiscent 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.