One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural symphysesAnatomy Zoology
1The process of growing together.
- ‘Pleurodesis, from the Greek pleura and desis (binding together), is intended to achieve a symphysis between parietal and visceral pleura.’
- ‘Chemical pleurodesis consists of the introduction of asclerosing agent into the pleural cavity to achieve symphysis of the two pleural layers and, thus, obliteration of the pleural space.’
- ‘Dyspnea may respond to pleural fluid drainage followed by a pleurodesis procedure that creates a symphysis of the visceral and parietal pleuras, thereby preventing pleural fluid reaccumulation.’
2A place where two bones are closely joined, either forming an immovable joint (as between the pubic bones in the center of the pelvis) or completely fused (as at the midline of the lower jaw).
- ‘The medial surface of the dentary immediately below the first tooth is expanded to form a flat mandibular symphysis with a subcircular to rectangular outline.’
- ‘The length of the mandibular symphysis is less than 20% the length of the ramus, and in the upper jaw, the toothrows diverge posteriorly.’
- ‘The mandibular symphysis is more than one-third of the total length of the mandible, and the dentary, angular, and splenial are involved.’
- ‘The canal narrows and becomes shallower anteriorly, terminating at the mandibular symphysis with a height of less than 1 mm and a depth of less than I mm.’
- ‘According to Von Meyer no mandibular tusks were present and most probably the jaw possessed a short elephantine symphysis.’
Late 16th century (in symphysis (sense 2)): modern Latin, from Greek sumphusis, from sun- ‘together’ + phusis ‘growth’.
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