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apophysis Line breaks: apophy¦sis
Pronunciation: /əˈpɒfɪsɪs/

Definition of apophysis in English:

noun (plural apophysesəˈpɒfɪsiːz)

1 Zoology & Anatomy A natural protuberance from a bone, or inside the shell or exoskeleton of a sea urchin or insect, for the attachment of muscles.
Example sentences
  • In younger patients, nonossified bone present at growth plates such as the femoral head epiphysis and the anterior superior iliac spine apophysis is susceptible to injury until the skeleton matures.
  • Hypertrophy is defined as either an increase in the size of the medial epicondylar apophysis of the pitching elbow or an increase in the thickness of the medial humeral cortex as compared to the contralateral elbow.
  • The iliac apophysis ossifies in a predictable fashion from anterolateral to posteromedial along the iliac crest.
2 Botany A swelling at the base of the sporangium in some mosses.
3 Geology A small offshoot extending from an igneous intrusion into the surrounding rock.
Example sentences
  • Along the southern margin of the intrusion at Sogneskollen, granodiorite apophyses netvein the host rocks.
  • These apophyses extend 50 pm into the adjacent quartz grains and, when viewed parallel to the grain boundaries, form irregular branching features.
  • The latter are characterized by sheet-like apophyses that interfinger with host rocks.


Late 16th century: modern Latin, from Greek apophusis 'offshoot', from apo- 'from, away' + phusis 'growth'.



Pronunciation: /ˌapəˈfɪsɪəl/
Example sentences
  • Additionally, there is some evidence to suggest that gymnastics may induce changes in the anterior and middle columns (Schmorl's nodes, apophyseal ring abnormalities, and vertebral wedging) that are not necessarily symptomatic.
  • As water is the main component of the disc, loss of fluid leads to a fall in disc height and abnormal loading of other spinal structures such as the apophyseal joints.
  • Adolescents and young adults are at particular risk for various apophyseal and epiphyseal injuries due to lack of ossification of these cartilaginous growth plates.

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