Meaning of apophysis in English:


Pronunciation /əˈpɒfɪsɪs/

nounplural noun apophyses/əˈpɒfɪsiːz/

  • 1Zoology Anatomy
    A natural protuberance from a bone, or inside the shell or exoskeleton of a sea urchin or insect, for the attachment of muscles.

    ‘In younger patients, nonossified bone present at growth plates such as the femoral head epiphysis and the anterior superior iliac spine apophysis is susceptible to injury until the skeleton matures.’
    • ‘Hypertrophy is defined as either an increase in the size of the medial epicondylar apophysis of the pitching elbow or an increase in the thickness of the medial humeral cortex as compared to the contralateral elbow.’
    • ‘The iliac apophysis ossifies in a predictable fashion from anterolateral to posteromedial along the iliac crest.’
    • ‘The history and clinical picture of avulsion of the ischial apophysis closely mimics that of a hamstring injury.’
    • ‘These structures, along with the columella and apophysis are present in the asexual state.’
  • 2Botany
    A swelling at the base of the sporangium in some mosses.

  • 3Geology
    A small offshoot extending from an igneous intrusion into the surrounding rock.

    ‘Along the southern margin of the intrusion at Sogneskollen, granodiorite apophyses netvein the host rocks.’
    • ‘These apophyses extend 50 pm into the adjacent quartz grains and, when viewed parallel to the grain boundaries, form irregular branching features.’
    • ‘The latter are characterized by sheet-like apophyses that interfinger with host rocks.’


Late 16th century modern Latin, from Greek apophusis ‘offshoot’, from apo- ‘from, away’ + phusis ‘growth’.