noun \ˈ-ˌtäp-sē, ˈ-təp-\

: an examination of a dead body to find out the cause of death

plural au·top·sies

Full Definition of AUTOPSY

:  an examination of a body after death to determine the cause of death or the character and extent of changes produced by disease —called also necropsy
:  a critical examination, evaluation, or assessment of someone or something past
autopsy transitive verb

Examples of AUTOPSY

  1. The coroner performed an autopsy on the murder victim's body.
  2. <the autopsy revealed an advanced stage of cancer>

Origin of AUTOPSY

Greek autopsia act of seeing with one's own eyes, from aut- + opsis sight, appearance — more at optic
First Known Use: 1678

Related to AUTOPSY

Rhymes with AUTOPSY


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Dissection and examination of a dead body to determine cause of death and learn about disease processes in ways that are not possible with the living. Autopsies have contributed to the development of medicine since at least the Middle Ages. Beyond revealing causes of individual deaths, autopsy is crucial to the accuracy of disease and death statistics, the education of medical students, the understanding of new and changing diseases, and the advancement of medical science.

Variants of AUTOPSY

autopsy or necropsy or postmortem


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