[ fish-er ]
/ ˈfɪʃ ər /


a narrow opening produced by cleavage or separation of parts.
Anatomy. a natural division or groove in an organ, as in the brain.

verb (used with object), fis·sured, fis·sur·ing.

to make fissures in; cleave; split.

verb (used without object), fis·sured, fis·sur·ing.

to open in fissures; become split.


Nearby words

  1. fissiparity,
  2. fissiparous,
  3. fissiped,
  4. fissirostral,
  5. fissura,
  6. fissure eruption,
  7. fissure of rolando,
  8. fissure of round ligament,
  9. fissure of sylvius,
  10. fissure of venous ligament

Origin of fissure

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin fissūra cleaving, cleft, fissure, equivalent to fiss(us) divided (see fissi-) + -ūra -ure

Related formsfis·su·ral, adjectivefis·sure·less, adjectivesub·fis·sure, nounsu·per·fis·sure, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fissure

British Dictionary definitions for fissure


/ (ˈfɪʃə) /


any long narrow cleft or crack, esp in a rock
a weakness or flaw indicating impending disruption or discordfissures in a decaying empire
anatomy a narrow split or groove that divides an organ such as the brain, lung, or liver into lobesSee 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 for fissure

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

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

Medicine definitions for fissure


[ fĭshər ]


A deep furrow, cleft, or slit.
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.

Science definitions for fissure


[ fĭshər ]

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.