[viv-uh-sekt, viv-uh-sekt]

verb (used with object)

to dissect the living body of (an animal).

verb (used without object)

to practice vivisection.

Origin of vivisect

First recorded in 1860–65; back formation from vivisection
Related formsviv·i·sec·tor, nounself-viv·i·sec·tor, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vivisect

Historical Examples of vivisect

  • He is not allowed to try his germs and specifics upon them; he is not allowed to vivisect them.


    Henry Louis Mencken

  • Whether they vivisect painfully or painlessly, they are trying to find out whether the truth is there or not.

    Eugenics and Other Evils

    G. K. Chesterton

  • The man who can vivisect an emotion, and lay bare a heart-beat in print, knows a subtle joy.

  • To do any great thing with the heart of another, you must vivisect your own, and this truth Theodora had to practise continually.

    A Reconstructed Marriage

    Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

  • To stand within the protection which her sex afforded and vivisect anew his tired soul?

    Carmen Ariza

    Charles Francis Stocking

British Dictionary definitions for vivisect



to subject (an animal) to vivisection
Derived Formsvivisector, noun

Word Origin for vivisect

C19: back formation from vivisection
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 vivisect

1859, back-formation from vivisection. Related: Vivisected; vivisecting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper