anal·y·sis | \ə-ˈna-lə-səs \
plural analyses\-ˌsēz \

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

(2) : calculus sense 1b

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

This is history ripe for analysis, and for readers who know it well, Dippel often provides a broader overview. Anchorage Daily News, "In ‘To the Ends of the Earth,’ an ambitious attempt to encompass era of polar exploration," 7 July 2018 However, the team had to rely on local hunters to share parts of their kill for analysis, something only a handful of them were willing to do—perhaps out of fear of getting into trouble. National Geographic, "Humans Gave Leprosy to Armadillos. Now, They’re Giving It Back," 28 June 2018 Lawyers are pumping out analyses counseling that hospitals must heel to the law and state regulation on medical marijuana. Anne Saker,, "Cincinnati hospitals reluctantly realize that medical marijuana is coming to town," 11 July 2018 To understand how all this happened, some deconstructive and historical analysis is required, not to mention a touch of semiotics and communications theory. Bob Morris, Town & Country, "How College Courses on Happiness and Humiliation Because the Hottest Trend on Campus," 10 July 2018 Such fine-grain analysis of the methods and modes of perpetrators wasn’t how Grant began his work. Chris Stokel-walker, The Atlantic, "The Linguist Who Helps Police Catch Child Predators," 10 July 2018 Benham’s goal: Use his data analysis skills to exploit inefficiencies in the soccer world, allowing his clubs to compete at a level higher than their financial might indicated. Grant Wahl,, "The World Cup of Set Pieces: How Teams Are Living Off Dead-Ball Plays," 10 July 2018 In 2012 and 2013, data expert Joan Buenconsejo led FDA's analysis of medical statistics in drug reviews, including offerings from AstraZeneca. Charles Piller, Science | AAAS, "FDA’s revolving door: Companies often hire agency staffers who managed their successful drug reviews," 5 July 2018 One of three composites predicting what Ray Hernandez's killer may have looked like based on DNA analysis. Deanna Boyd, star-telegram, "He worked to steer troubled youths from crime, but Ray Hernandez died a murder victim," 2 July 2018

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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Phrases Related to analysis

defy analysis

in the final/last analysis

Statistics for analysis

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for analysis

The first known use of analysis was in 1581

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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 \
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 \
plural analyses\-ˌsēz \

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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Comments on analysis

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to teach someone the beliefs of a group

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