From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


noun, plural: symphyses


(1) A cartilaginous joint between the articulating bones adjoined by fibrocartilage, with or without a synovial membrane, and provides slight movement.

(2) A union or commissure of two structures.

(3) A line or junction discernable on x-ray.

(4) A pathological adhesion.


Symphyses are secondary cartilaginous joints that contain fibrocartilage, which remains unossified throughout life. Examples are the pubic symphysis and the symphysis of the lower jaw.

Word origin: NL, fr. Gr, to make to grow together; with _ to cause to grow; to grow.
Related forms: symphyseal or symphysial (adjective).
Synonym: secondary cartilaginous joint.
Compare: synchondrosis.
See also: joint, articulation, cartilage.