noun, plural au·tot·o·mies.

  1. separation of a body part.
  2. self-amputation of a damaged or trapped appendage.
the performance of surgery upon oneself.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for autotomy

Historical Examples of autotomy

British Dictionary definitions for autotomy


noun plural -mies

the casting off by an animal of a part of its body, to facilitate escape when attacked
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




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