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autotomy

[aw-tot-uh-mee]
noun, plural au·tot·o·mies.
  1. Zoology.
    1. separation of a body part.
    2. self-amputation of a damaged or trapped appendage.
  2. the performance of surgery upon oneself.
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Origin of autotomy

First recorded in 1895–1900; auto-1 + -tomy
Related formsau·to·tom·ic [aw-tuh-tom-ik] /ˌɔ təˈtɒm ɪk/, au·tot·o·mous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for autotomy

Historical Examples

  • Autotomy not only permits flight, but also defends the animal against the most adverse conditions.

    The Human Side of Animals

    Royal Dixon

  • Such is the adaptive device—more reflex than reflective—which is called self-mutilation or autotomy.


British Dictionary definitions for autotomy

autotomy

noun plural -mies
  1. the casting off by an animal of a part of its body, to facilitate escape when attacked
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Derived Formsautotomic (ˌɔːtəˈtɒmɪk), adjective
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

autotomy in Medicine

autotomy

(ô-tŏtə-mē)
n.
  1. The spontaneous casting off of a body part, especially of an invertebrate, when injured or under attack.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.