anal·​y·​sis | \ ə-ˈna-lə-səs How to pronounce analysis (audio) \
plural analyses\ ə-​ˈna-​lə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce analysis (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 Police noted that evidence was being sent to a crime laboratory for analysis and additional charges could be pending. Brian Lisik, cleveland, "Driver unaware his truck was reported stolen: Avon Police Blotter," 3 May 2021 For more reporting and exclusive analysis from bureau chief John Myers, get our Essential Politics newsletter. Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times, "California Democrats, including Newsom and Harris, speak out against recall," 1 May 2021 Subscribe to The Ledger for expert weekly analysis on fintech’s big stories, delivered free to your inbox. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Ethereum hits a record: How much $1,000 would be worth today if you had invested earlier," 29 Apr. 2021 For a full analysis of the current market on Nantucket, refer to the Fisher Real Estate Market Report for Nantucket. J.q. Louise, Forbes, "Thinking About Your First Summer Home? Nantucket Could Be The Answer," 28 Apr. 2021 Authorities who retrieved the bones—including a pelvic bone and part of a femur—from the rubble of Osage Avenue turned them over to Alan Mann, then an anthropologist at the University of Pennsylvania, for forensic analysis. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Museum Kept Bones of Black Children Killed in 1985 Police Bombing in Storage for Decades," 26 Apr. 2021 Kuzminski shot some photos that have been sent to experts for analysis, and tried to identify them himself using field guides. Paul Eisenberg,, "Landmarks: A Southland native who made a mark on the ‘90s rave scene comes home to find local waterways link to the world," 25 Apr. 2021 Woods said the museum returned the bones to him last weekend because the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office had originally given them to him for forensic analysis in 1985., "Decades after police bombing, Philadelphians ‘sickened’ by handling of victim’s bones," 24 Apr. 2021 The diversity of aquatic insects is an indicator of the health of the habitat, and water quality tests are sent to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s lab in Richmond for analysis. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Celebrate Earth Day by taking part in a Bay Area citizen science project," 21 Apr. 2021

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

borrowed from Medieval Latin, borrowed from Greek análysis "loosing, releasing, breaking something down into its elements, solution of a problem," from analýein "to loosen, undo, dissolve, resolve into constituent elements," from ana- ana- + lýein "to loosen, undo" — 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

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Analysis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for analysis



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 analysis (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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