[ in-sizh-uhn ]
/ ɪnˈsɪʒ ən /
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a cut, gash, or notch.
the act of incising.
a cutting into, especially for surgical purposes.
incisiveness; keenness.
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Origin of incision

1350–1400; Middle English <Latin incīsiōn- (stem of incīsiō). See incise, -ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does incision mean?

An incision is a cut made into the body during surgery.

Traditionally, incisions are made with surgical instruments like scalpels. However, they can also be made with lasers or robotic tools. Sometimes, incision refers to the scar resulting from such a cut.

Incision is the noun form of the verb incise, meaning to cut into. The noun form incision is more commonly used.

More generally, incision can refer to any cut or gash, but it is primarily used to refer to surgical incisions.

Example: The surgeon explained that she would need to make three small incisions in my abdomen in order to remove my appendix.

Where does incision come from?

The first records of the word incision come from the 1300s. Incision is the noun form of incise, which derives from the Latin verb incīdere, meaning “to carve” or “to cut into.”

Steady-handed surgeons make incisions with scalpels, lasers, or robotic tools. Some incisions are made for the purpose of exploratory surgery, which typically involves trying to diagnose what may be wrong with a certain body part. In most cases, though, incisions are made so that a body part can be repaired or removed. Sometimes, incisions are very small, such as in a laparoscopic appendectomy (a procedure to remove the appendix that uses a tool called a laparoscope). Other procedures require incisions that are quite big, such as in a cesarean section. Hopefully you won’t need any, but if you do, may all your incisions be done with precision!

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What are some other forms of incision?

What are some synonyms for incision?

What are some words that share a root or word element with incision


What are some words that often get used in discussing incision?


How is incision used in real life!

The word incision is most commonly used in a technical way in the context of surgery.



Try using incision!

Is incision used correctly in the following sentence?

I’d rather have three small incisions than one long one.

How to use incision in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for incision

/ (ɪnˈsɪʒən) /

the act of incising
a cut, gash, or notch
a cut made with a knife during a surgical operation
any indentation in an incised leaf
rare incisiveness
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

Medical definitions for incision

[ ĭn-sĭzhən ]

A cut into a body tissue or organ, especially one made during surgery.
The scar resulting from such a cut.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.