verb dis·sect \dī-ˈsekt also di-, ˈdī-ˌ\

: to cut (a plant or dead animal) into separate parts in order to study it

: to study or examine (something) closely and carefully

: to divide (something) into parts

Full Definition of DISSECT

transitive verb
:  to separate into pieces :  expose the several parts of (as an animal) for scientific examination
:  to analyze and interpret minutely <dissect a problem>
intransitive verb
:  to make a dissection
dis·sec·tor \-ˈsek-tər\ noun

Examples of DISSECT

  1. We dissected a frog in science class.
  2. She dissected each point of his argument.
  3. We dissected the poem in class.
  4. The city is dissected by a network of highways.

Origin of DISSECT

Latin dissectus, past participle of dissecare to cut apart, from dis- + secare to cut — more at saw
First Known Use: 1598

Synonym Discussion of DISSECT

analyze, dissect, break down mean to divide a complex whole into its parts or elements. analyze suggests separating or distinguishing the component parts of something (as a substance, a process, a situation) so as to discover its true nature or inner relationships <analyzed the collected data>. dissect suggests a searching analysis by laying bare parts or pieces for individual scrutiny <commentators dissected every word of the speech>. break down implies a reducing to simpler parts or divisions <break down the budget>.
DISSECTOR Defined for Kids


verb dis·sect \di-ˈsekt\

Definition of DISSECT for Kids

:  to cut or take apart especially for examination <We dissected a flower in science class.>
Medical Dictionary


transitive verb dis·sect \dis-ˈekt; dī-ˈsekt, ˈdī-ˌ\

Medical Definition of DISSECT

:  to cut so as to separate into pieces or to expose the several parts of (as an animal or a cadaver) for scientific examination; specifically :  to separate or follow along natural lines of cleavage (as through connective tissue) <dissect out the regional lymph nodes> <a dissecting aneurysm>
intransitive verb
:  to make a medical dissection
dis·sec·tor \-ər\ noun


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