Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[aw-tol-uh-sis] /ɔˈtɒl ə sɪs/
noun, Biochemistry.
the breakdown of plant or animal tissue by the action of enzymes contained in the tissue affected; self-digestion.
Origin of autolysis
First recorded in 1900-05; auto-1 + -lysis
Related forms
[awt-l-it-ik] /ˌɔt lˈɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for autolysis
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for autolysis


the destruction of cells and tissues of an organism by enzymes produced by the cells themselves
Derived Forms
autolytic (ˌɔːtəˈlɪtɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C20: via German from Greek autos self + lusis loosening, release
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
autolysis in Medicine

autolysis au·tol·y·sis (ô-tŏl'ĭ-sĭs)

  1. The destruction of tissues or cells of an organism by the action of substances, such as enzymes, that are produced within the organism.

  2. Self-destruction of tissues within the living body. Also called autodigestion.

  3. The hemolytic action of blood serum or plasma upon its own cells. Also called autocytolysis.

au'to·lyt'ic (ô'tə-lĭt'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for autolysis

Word Value for autolysis

Scrabble Words With Friends