Definition of paraphysis in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /pəˈrafɪsɪs/

noun (plural paraphyses /pəˈrafɪsiːz/)

A sterile hair-like filament present among the reproductive organs in many lower plants, especially bryophytes, algae, and fungi.
Example sentences
  • Perithecia are always smaller than wild-type perithecia and a quarter of them contain only sterile paraphyses.
  • Alternatively, the branchlets may represent inflated hairs, or paraphyses, as found on some phaeophyte sporophytes or rhodophyte tetrasporophytes.
  • However, Neolecta lacks paraphyses, and the croziers do not develop until the ascus is formed.


Mid 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek para- 'beside, subsidiary' + phusis 'growth'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: par|aphy¦sis

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.