anal·​y·​sis | \ ə-ˈna-lə-səs How to pronounce analysis (audio) \
plural analyses\ ə-​ˈna-​lə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce analyses (audio) \

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 problem
b : 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 soil
b : 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 steps
b(1) : a branch of mathematics concerned mainly with limits, continuity, and infinite series
5 : psychoanalysis a patient who is in/undergoing analysis
6a : a method in philosophy of resolving complex expressions into simpler or more basic ones
b : clarification of an expression by an elucidation of its use in discourse
7 linguistics : the use of function words instead of inflectional forms as a characteristic device of a language

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web According to a Washington Post analysis, cases have increased from 3,000 to over 11,000 at Tyson Foods, Smithfield Foods, and JBS, the nation’s three biggest meat producers. Cassidy Morrison, Washington Examiner, "Reopening optimism fuels stock market surge," 27 May 2020 But antitrust cases hinge on highly technical economic analyses, are subject to judicial review and take years to play out. Brian Fung, CNN, "Trump threatens to 'regulate' social media platforms. His options may be limited," 27 May 2020 For more data and analysis, see The Chronicle’s coronavirus tracker. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: May 23," 24 May 2020 The analysis, published today in Geophysical Research Letters, shows that between 2008 and 2015, 85 previously unknown submarine landslides occurred in the Gulf. National Geographic, "Underwater landslides in the Gulf of Mexico, 2008-2015," 19 May 2020 Click through for the entire gender analysis, via my colleague Emma Hinchliffe. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Intel’s diversity chief exerts her inclusion muscle," 19 May 2020 The n = 8 thing The company’s statement led with the fact that all 45 subjects (in this analysis) who received doses of 25 micrograms (two doses each), 100 micrograms (two doses each), or a 250 micrograms (one dose) developed binding antibodies. Helen Branswell, STAT, "Vaccine experts say Moderna didn’t produce data critical to assessing Covid-19 vaccine," 19 May 2020 This is a complicated analysis, and employers are well-advised to involve employment counsel to assist them at the outset. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Brother’s rantings have natural consequences," 16 May 2020 According to a recent New York Times analysis, daily package volume to households in the Big Apple tripled from 2009 to 2017 while the amount of physical space for the ubiquitous white, blue, or brown delivery vehicles remained static. Brett Berk, Car and Driver, "Cardboard Jungle: The Other Cost of All Those Packages We Order," 16 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'analysis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of analysis

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for analysis

New Latin, from Greek, from analyein to break up, from ana- + lyein to loosen — more at lose

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Time Traveler for analysis

Time Traveler

The first known use of analysis was in 1581

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Statistics for analysis

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Analysis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for analysis


How to pronounce analysis (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of analysis

: 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


anal·​y·​sis | \ ə-ˈna-lə-səs How to pronounce analysis (audio) \
plural analyses\ -​ˌsēz \

Kids Definition of analysis

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


anal·​y·​sis | \ ə-ˈnal-ə-səs How to pronounce analysis (audio) \
plural analyses\ -​ˌsēz How to pronounce analyses (audio) \

Medical Definition of analysis

1 : separation of a whole into its component parts
2a : the identification or separation of ingredients of a substance
b : a statement of the constituents of a mixture

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