[ viv-uh-sek-shuh n ]
/ ˌvɪv əˈsɛk ʃən /


the action of cutting into or dissecting a living body.
the practice of subjecting living animals to cutting operations, especially in order to advance physiological and pathological knowledge.

Nearby words

  1. vivien,
  2. vivification,
  3. vivify,
  4. viviparous,
  5. vivisect,
  6. vivisectionist,
  7. vivo,
  8. vivyan,
  9. vixen,
  10. vixenly

Origin of vivisection

First recorded in 1700–10; vivi- + section

Related formsviv·i·sec·tion·al, adjectiveviv·i·sec·tion·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vivisection

British Dictionary definitions for vivisection


/ (ˌvɪvɪˈsɛkʃən) /


the act or practice of performing experiments on living animals, involving cutting into or dissecting the body
Derived Formsvivisectional, adjectivevivisectionally, adverb

Word Origin for vivisection

C18: from vivi-, from Latin vīvus living + section, as in dissection

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 vivisection



"dissection of a living animal," 1707, from Latin vivus "alive" (see vivid) + ending from dissection).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for vivisection


[ vĭv′ĭ-sĕkshən, vĭvĭ-sĕk′- ]


The act or practice of cutting into or performing surgery on living animals for the purpose of scientific research.
Related formsviv′i•section•ist n.

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

Science definitions for vivisection


[ vĭv′ĭ-sĕkshən ]

The practice of examining internal organs and tissues by cutting into or dissecting a living animal, especially for the purpose of scientific research.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for vivisection


[ (viv-uh-sek-shuhn, viv-uh-sek-shuhn) ]

The cutting up or dissection of animals, including anesthetized live animals, in scientific research. Vivisection is also a general term for the use of animals as subjects in laboratory experiments, especially in the development of new medical techniques and drugs.


Vivisection, as well as the general use of animals in medical research, is a target of protest by animal rights advocates.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.