1. Botany The spontaneous opening at maturity of a plant structure, such as a fruit, anther, or sporangium, to release its contents.
2. Medicine A rupture or splitting open, as of a surgical wound, or of an organ or structure to discharge its contents.
(click for a larger image)dehiscence
split fruit exposing the seed of a
horse chestnut tree
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.