1. Biology. the release of materials by the splitting open of an organ or tissue.
  2. Botany. the natural bursting open of capsules, fruits, anthers, etc., for the discharge of their contents.
  3. Surgery. the bursting open of a surgically closed wound.


  1. (of fruits, anthers, etc) opening spontaneously to release seeds or pollen

1828, from Modern Latin dehiscentia, from dehiscentem (nominative dehiscens), present participle of dehiscere “to gape, open, split down” (of the earth, etc.), from de- (see de-) + hiscere, inchoative of hiare “to yawn” (see yawn (v.)).


  1. A bursting open or splitting along natural or sutured lines.

  1. The spontaneous opening at maturity of a plant structure, such as a fruit, anther, or sporangium, to release its contents. Compare indehiscence.

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