Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[aw-top-see, aw-tuh p-] /ˈɔ tɒp si, ˈɔ təp-/
noun, plural autopsies.
inspection and dissection of a body after death, as for determination of the cause of death; postmortem examination.
an analysis of something after it has been done or made.
verb (used with object), autopsied, autopsying.
to perform an autopsy on.
Origin of autopsy
1645-55; (< Middle French autopsie) < Greek autopsía a seeing with one's own eyes, equivalent to aut- aut- + óps(is) -opsis + -ia -y3
Related forms
autopsist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for autopsy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Much as he disliked the necessity, it was incumbent on him to perform an autopsy.

    The Woman from Outside Hulbert Footner
  • The first witness called was the doctor who made the autopsy.

    The Four Pools Mystery Jean Webster
  • At autopsy at San Lazaro morgue, the same day, bubonic plague was found to be present and the cause of her death.

    Plague Thomas Wright Jackson
  • There was nothing discovered at the autopsy to account for the death.

    A Master of Mysteries L. T. Meade
  • Sometimes his patients were dead when he reached them, and all his entreaties for an autopsy were in vain with the relatives.

British Dictionary definitions for autopsy


/ˈɔːtəpsɪ; ɔːˈtɒp-/
noun (pl) -sies
Also called necropsy, postmortem examination. dissection and examination of a dead body to determine the cause of death
an eyewitness observation
any critical analysis
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin autopsia, from Greek: seeing with one's own eyes, from auto- + opsis sight
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
Word Origin and History for autopsy

1650s, "an eye-witnessing," from Modern Latin autopsia, from Greek autopsia "a seeing with one's own eyes," from autos- "self" (see auto-) + opsis "a sight" (see eye (n.)). Sense of "dissection of a body to determine cause of death" is first recorded 1670s, probably from the same sense in French autopsie (1570s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
autopsy in Medicine

autopsy au·top·sy (ô'tŏp'sē, ô'təp-)
An examination of a cadaver in order to determine the cause of death or to study pathologic changes. Also called necropsy, postmortem, postmortem examination.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
autopsy in Science
A medical examination of a dead body to determine the cause of death or to study pathologic changes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for autopsy

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for autopsy

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for autopsy