Definition of fissure in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfɪʃə/


1A long, narrow opening or line of breakage made by cracking or splitting, especially in rock or earth: the bacteria survive around vents or fissures in the deep ocean floor
More example sentences
  • ‘Earth fissures several feet wide and deep have been observed in Lucerne Valley,’ he said.
  • Early-stage hydrothermal leaching of the limestone created solution cavities and brecciated zones along the fissures and faults, providing sites for subsequent ore deposition.
  • Flat lawns are formed into an abstract pattern that recalls tectonic fractures and fissures in the earth's surface, their edges defined by dark grey concrete retaining walls.
opening, crevice, crack, cleft, cranny, chink, slit, groove, gap, hole, breach, aperture, vent, interstice;
crevasse, chasm, ravine, crater;
break, fracture, fault, rift, rupture, split, rent, gash
technical scission, grike
1.1 Anatomy A long, narrow opening, e.g. any of the spaces separating convolutions of the brain.
Example sentences
  • However, one more frequently finds the commonly described five lobes not separated by fissures.
  • The inferior surfaces of the frontal lobes are separated from those of the temporal lobes by the lateral fissure.
  • In this natural and inevitable process of atrophy, parts of the brain shrink, while the sulci, or fissures of the brain become shallower and wider.
2A state of incompatibility or disagreement: a fissure between philosophy and reality
More example sentences
  • But by the time the novel is over, we've seen how small irruptions of human weakness, no less than gigantic cultural fissures, can change everything.
  • Many delegates discussed how Asian media confronts the fissures between democracy and the global market economy.
  • It is clearly a plan on the part of outsiders to come in this country and spark civil war, create sectarian violence and try to expose fissures in the society.


[with object] (usually as adjective fissured)
Split or crack (something) to form a long, narrow opening: low cliffs of fissured Silurian rock
More example sentences
  • After disembarking, there is a short, sharp climb to the summit at 2,743m, across fissured limestone where rock anemones grow.
  • We would slide into the water and spend our 30-40 minutes, and when we came up what greeted us was a wall of snowy rock, fissured glaciers flowing to the waterline and huge towers of ice that sometimes collapsed before our eyes.
  • It may be moist and pink, there may be red psoriasiform with yellow, superficial crusting, or there may be a dry fissured area with mucoid discharge.


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin fissura, from findere 'to split'.

  • This comes from Latin fissura, from findere ‘to split’ also the base of fission (early 17th century) ‘splitting’.

Words that rhyme with fissure

Fischer, fisher, justiciar, Laetitia, militia, Patricia, Phoenicia, Tricia

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fis|sure

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