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dissect

[dih-sekt, dahy-]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cut apart (an animal body, plant, etc.) to examine the structure, relation of parts, or the like.
  2. to examine minutely part by part; analyze: to dissect an idea.
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Origin of dissect

1600–10; < Latin dissectus (past participle of dissecāre to cut up), equivalent to dis- dis-1 + sec- cut + -tus past participle suffix
Related formsdis·sec·ti·ble, adjectivedis·sec·tor, nounre·dis·sect, verb (used with object)self-dis·sect·ing, adjective
Can be confusedbisect dissect

Synonyms for dissect

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1, 2. anatomize.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for dissect

explore, scrutinize, inspect, examine, investigate, anatomize, slice, divide, section, disjoin, dismember, cut, quarter, part, sunder, disjoint, operate, sever, dissever, dichotomize

Examples from the Web for dissect

Contemporary Examples of dissect

Historical Examples of dissect

  • The sensation astonished him so much that he lacked the courage to dissect it.

  • "Got the sack, I suppose," he said, and began to dissect a chicken.

    People of Position

    Stanley Portal Hyatt

  • I'm going to take up every statement he made tonight and dissect it—every point.

    The Winning Clue

    James Hay, Jr.

  • Were you to dissect him, and inspect his stomach, you would find no milk there.

    The Western World

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • Dissect him,” said Dyke, who was on his knees with his sharp sheath-knife in his hand.

    Diamond Dyke

    George Manville Fenn


British Dictionary definitions for dissect

dissect

verb
  1. to cut open and examine the structure of (a dead animal or plant)
  2. (tr) to examine critically and minutely
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Derived Formsdissectible, adjectivedissection, noundissector, noun

Word Origin for dissect

C17: from Latin dissecāre, from dis- 1 + secāre to cut
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 dissect

v.

c.1600, from Latin dissectus, past participle of dissecare "to cut to pieces" (see dissection). Or perhaps a back-formation from dissection. Related: Dissected; dissecting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dissect in Medicine

dissect

(dĭ-sĕkt, dī-, dīsĕkt′)
v.
  1. To cut apart or separate tissue, especially for anatomical study.
  2. In surgery, to separate different anatomical structures along natural lines by dividing the connective tissue framework.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

dissect in Science

dissect

[dĭ-sĕkt, dīsĕkt′]
  1. To cut apart or separate body tissues or organs, especially for anatomical study.
  2. In surgery, to separate different anatomical structures along natural lines by dividing the connective tissue framework.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.