noun, plural bi·op·sies.
  1. the removal for diagnostic study of a piece of tissue from a living body.
  2. a specimen obtained from a biopsy.
verb (used with object), bi·op·sied, bi·op·sy·ing.
  1. to remove (living tissue) for diagnostic evaluation.

Origin of biopsy

First recorded in 1890–95; bi-2 + -opsy1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for biopsied


noun plural -sies
  1. examination, esp under a microscope, of tissue from a living body to determine the cause or extent of a disease
  2. the sample taken for such an examination
Derived Formsbioptic (baɪˈɒptɪk), adjective

Word Origin for biopsy

C20: from bio- + Greek 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

Word Origin and History for biopsied



1895, from French biopsie, coined by French dermatologist Ernest Besnier (1831-1909) from Greek bi- comb. form of bios "life" (see bio-) + opsis "a sight" (see eye (n.)). As a verb, from 1964.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

biopsied in Medicine


  1. The removal and examination of a sample of tissue from a living body for diagnostic purposes.
  2. A specimen so obtained.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

biopsied in Science


  1. A sample of tissue removed from a living body by a medical provider for diagnostic purposes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.