Fissure vs. Fisher

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Fissure and fisher are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of the words fissure and fisher, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A fissure is an opening made by the action of cracking or splitting. For this reason, fissures are often long and narrow. The term is often used to describe cracks in geological features as well as human anatomical features. Fissure is also used figuratively to mean a state of disagreement, where two sides are separated by a metaphorical chasm. Fissure may be used as a noun or a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are fissures, fissured, fissuring. The word fissure is derived from the Latin word fissura, mean a split or cleft.

A fisher is someone who catches fish, either for fun or as a career. Fisher may also refer to a certain North American brown marten, often trapped for its fur. The North American fisher is not named for a preference for fish, but rather as a corruption of the word fitch, which is a term for a European polecat. The word fisher to mean one who catches fish is derived from the Old English word fisc, and the suffix -er which is used to indicate a person or thing that performs an activity.


About 100 million years ago, shifts in tectonic plates caused the region’s foundational limestone to begin to crack and fissure. (Smithsonian Magazine)

“Failure to give this subject dedicated teaching time and resourcing teachers to do this well is a fissure that must be filled.” (The Belfast Telegraph)

The rare, weasel-like fisher will remain on Washington state’s endangered species list, despite signs that it’s making a comeback since being reintroduced. (The Seattle Times)

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