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dissect

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

Simple Definition of dissect

  • : 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

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to separate into pieces :  expose the several parts of (as an animal) for scientific examination

  3. 2 :  to analyze and interpret minutely <dissect a problem>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to make a dissection

dis·sec·tor play \-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>.

Medical Dictionary

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

Medical Definition of dissect

  1. :  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>

  2. intransitive verb

  3. :  to make a medical dissection

  4. dis·sec·tor \-ər\play noun





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