Definition of analysis
1a : a detailed examination of anything complex in order to understand its nature or to determine its essential features : a thorough study doing a careful analysis of the problemb : a statement of such an examination
2 : separation of a whole into its component parts
3a : the identification or separation of ingredients of a substance a chemical analysis of the soilb : a statement of the constituents of a mixture
4 mathematics a : proof of a mathematical proposition by assuming the result and deducing a valid statement by a series of reversible stepsb (1) : a branch of mathematics concerned mainly with limits, continuity, and infinite series (2) : calculus 1b
5 : psychoanalysis a patient who is in/undergoing analysis
6a : a method in philosophy of resolving complex expressions into simpler or more basic onesb : clarification of an expression by an elucidation of its use in discourse
Examples of analysis in a sentence
His analyses expose hidden fractures with the clarity of an X-ray, and his rhetorical skill, though modulated in a journalistic style, owes much to the give and take of Euripides' crisp dialogue. —G. W. Bowersock, New York Review of Books, 6 Nov. 2008
In order to depict economic decisions mathematically, economists needed to assume that human behavior is both rational and predictable. They imagined a representative human, Homo economicus, endowed with consistent preferences, stable moods, and an enviable ability to make only rational decisions. This sleight of hand yielded some theories that had genuine predictive value, but economists were obliged to exclude from their analyses many phenomena that didn't fit the … framework, such as stock-market bubbles, drug addiction, and compulsive shopping. —John Cassidy, New Yorker, 18 Sept. 2006
Thus little more than a month before the convention was due to assemble in Philadelphia, James Madison fashioned a powerful and comprehensive analysis of the problems of federalism and republicanism. —Jack N. Rakove, Original Meanings, 1996
Thanks to some pioneering studies, and an increasing body of editions, translations, and detailed analyses, we now have a good general picture of the spiritual culture of late-medieval women on the Continent, especially in the Low Countries and Germany. —Nicholas Watsons, Speculum, July 1993
a scientific analysis of the data
make a chemical analysis of the soil
a detailed analysis of the bone structure of horses
performing chemical analysis of the soil
The newspaper printed an analysis of each candidate's positions.
That's not a bad analysis of the situation.
It's a problem that requires careful analysis.
He has been in analysis for many years.
Origin and Etymology of analysis
New Latin, from Greek, from analyein to break up, from ana- + lyein to loosen — more at lose
First Known Use: 1581
ANALYSIS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of analysis for English Language Learners
: a careful study of something to learn about its parts, what they do, and how they are related to each other
: an explanation of the nature and meaning of something
ANALYSIS Defined for Kids
Definition of analysis for Students
1 : an examination of something to find out how it is made or works or what it is chemical analysis of the soil
2 : an explanation of the nature and meaning of something analysis of the news
Learn More about analysis
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up analysis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).