dissect

[dih-sekt, dahy-]
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.

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

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

Examples from the Web for dissector

Contemporary Examples of dissector

Historical Examples of dissector

  • Now to the dead man came the dissector, dressed as the god Typhon.

    The Pharaoh and the Priest

    Alexander Glovatski

  • His book became the manual of dissection that was in practically every dissector's hands for several centuries after.

    The Popes and Science

    James J. Walsh

  • “I am purifying my brother Osiris of earthly things, so that he may become more beautiful,” replied the dissector.

    The Pharaoh and the Priest

    Alexander Glovatski

  • Some day the dissector of birds may find a real difference in the physiological structure of the eastern and western meadow-larks.

    Birds of the Rockies

    Leander Sylvester Keyser

  • The very labor that made me a success in literature caused me to be a dissector of things around me.

    Ben Blair

    Will Lillibridge


British Dictionary definitions for dissector

dissect

verb
  1. to cut open and examine the structure of (a dead animal or plant)
  2. (tr) to examine critically and minutely
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 dissector

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dissector 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.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

dissector 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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.