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[viv-uh-sek-shuh n] /ˌvɪv əˈsɛk ʃən/
the action of cutting into or dissecting a living body.
the practice of subjecting living animals to cutting operations, especially in order to advance physiological and pathological knowledge.
Origin of vivisection
First recorded in 1700-10; vivi- + section
Related forms
vivisectional, adjective
vivisectionally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for vivisection
Historical Examples
  • "You know my views now on the subject of vivisection," she said at last.

    The Beth Book

    Sarah Grand
  • They do not know what their own opinions are, until the victim of vivisection tells them.

    Eugenics and Other Evils G. K. Chesterton
  • At present this is mainly carried on by means of Dissection or vivisection.

  • Men sneered at vivisection, and yet look at its results to-day!

    Dracula Bram Stoker
  • vivisection was a pastime to this; this implicated the spirit, the other only the body.

    The Imitator Percival Pollard
  • The question of vivisection is again pushing itself to the front.

    Vivisection Albert Leffingwell
  • As a means of teaching physiological facts, vivisection is unsurpassed.

    Vivisection Albert Leffingwell
  • Exactly similar to this is one aspect of vivisection—it is a question of cost.

    Vivisection Albert Leffingwell
  • Do these conclusions affect the practice of vivisection in this country?

    Vivisection Albert Leffingwell
  • It is equally absurd to object to vivisection because it dissects, or "cuts up."

    Vivisection Albert Leffingwell
British Dictionary definitions for vivisection


the act or practice of performing experiments on living animals, involving cutting into or dissecting the body
Derived Forms
vivisectional, adjective
vivisectionally, adverb
Word Origin
C18: from vivi-, from Latin vīvus living + section, as in dissection
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
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Word Origin and History for vivisection

"dissection of a living animal," 1707, from Latin vivus "alive" (see vivid) + ending from dissection).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vivisection in Medicine

vivisection viv·i·sec·tion (vĭv'ĭ-sěk'shən, vĭv'ĭ-sěk'-)
The act or practice of cutting into or otherwise injuring living animals, especially for the purpose of scientific research.

viv'i·sec'tion·ist n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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vivisection in Science
The practice of examining internal organs and tissues by cutting into or dissecting a living animal, especially for the purpose of scientific research.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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vivisection in Culture
vivisection [(viv-uh-sek-shuhn, viv-uh-sek-shuhn)]

The cutting up or dissection of animals, including anesthetized live animals, in scientific research. Vivisection is also a general term for the use of animals as subjects in laboratory experiments, especially in the development of new medical techniques and drugs.

Note: Vivisection, as well as the general use of animals in medical research, is a target of protest by animal rights advocates.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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