• synonyms


verb (used with object), a·nat·o·mized, a·nat·o·miz·ing.
  1. to cut apart (an animal or plant) to show or examine the position, structure, and relation of the parts; display the anatomy of; dissect.
  2. to examine in great detail; analyze minutely: The couple anatomized their new neighbor.
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Also especially British, a·nat·o·mise.

Origin of anatomize

1400–50; late Middle English < Middle French anatomiser or < Medieval Latin anatomizāre. See anatomy, -ize
Related formsa·nat·o·miz·a·ble, adjectivea·nat·o·mi·za·tion, nouna·nat·o·miz·er, nounun·a·nat·o·miz·a·ble, adjectiveun·a·nat·o·mized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for anatomise

Historical Examples

  • Decompose me, anatomise me; you will find that I am constituted like the rest.

    The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb

    Charles Lamb

  • She must anatomise and skin you, absolutely lay your feelings bare.

  • His intellect was electrical: it struck before they had time to anatomise it.

  • Should I anatomise him to you as he is, I must blush and weep, and you must look pale and wonder.

  • I know well enough what death and pleasure are; let no man give himself the trouble to anatomise them to me.

British Dictionary definitions for anatomise



verb (tr)
  1. to dissect (an animal or plant)
  2. to examine in minute detail
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Derived Formsanatomization or anatomisation, nounanatomizer or anatomiser, noun
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

Word Origin and History for anatomise



"to dissect, investigate by dissection," early 15c., from Medieval Latin anatomizare or French anatomiser (16c.), from Greek anatomia (see anatomy). Related: Anatomized; anatomizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

anatomise in Medicine


  1. To dissect an animal or other organism to study the structure and relation of the parts.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.