autopsy

noun

au·​top·​sy ˈȯ-ˌtäp-sē How to pronounce autopsy (audio)
ˈȯ-təp-
plural autopsies
1
: an examination of a body after death to determine the cause of death or the character and extent of changes produced by disease

called also necropsy

2
: a critical examination, evaluation, or assessment of someone or something past
autopsy transitive verb

Example Sentences

The coroner performed an autopsy on the murder victim's body. the autopsy revealed an advanced stage of cancer
Recent Examples on the Web Zhalo allegedly fell out of a window, but the truth of what happened may never come to light: The embassy did not agree to an autopsy of the body, and German authorities cannot conduct an investigation due to Zhalo’s diplomatic status. Peter Aitken, Fox News, 5 Nov. 2021 But despite the House's years-long interest in an autopsy of Trump's finances, congressional approval of foreign payments the Trump Organization took in never happened. Katelyn Polantz, CNN, 8 Oct. 2021 The results of the investigation and the results of an independent autopsy requested by Green's family are still pending as of Sept. 12, according to Green's family's lawyer, B'Ivory LaMarr. Vanessa Swales, Journal Sentinel, 13 Oct. 2022 Preliminary findings from an independent autopsy suggest that a 23-year-old man who was killed by police in San Bernardino last month was shot seven times from behind. Laura J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times, 20 Aug. 2022 Bruenig attended an independent autopsy performed several days after James’ death and funded by the human rights group Reprieve U.S. al, 14 Aug. 2022 Preliminary findings of an independent autopsy ordered by Grier's family declared her cause of death to be severe blunt force injury to the head. Kendall Ross, ABC News, 12 Aug. 2022 The victims' families have also requested an independent autopsy, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Michael Darville told Eyewitness News last week. Anna Lazarus Caplan, PEOPLE.com, 29 June 2022 An independent autopsy confirmed he was killed by the shot to his head. Victoria Albert, CBS News, 10 June 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Greek autopsia act of seeing with one's own eyes, from aut- + opsis sight, appearance — more at optic

First Known Use

1678, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of autopsy was in 1678

Dictionary Entries Near autopsy

Cite this Entry

“Autopsy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/autopsy. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

autopsy

noun

au·​top·​sy ˈȯ-ˌtäp-sē How to pronounce autopsy (audio)
ˈȯt-əp-
plural autopsies
: an examination of a dead body especially to find out the cause of death
autopsy verb

Medical Definition

autopsy 1 of 2

noun

au·​top·​sy ˈȯ-ˌtäp-sē How to pronounce autopsy (audio) ˈȯt-əp- How to pronounce autopsy (audio)
plural autopsies
: an examination of the body after death usually with such dissection as will expose the vital organs for determining the cause of death or the character and extent of changes produced by disease

called also necropsy, postmortem, postmortem examination

autopsy

2 of 2

transitive verb

autopsied; autopsying
: to perform an autopsy on

Legal Definition

autopsy

noun

au·​top·​sy ˈȯ-ˌtäp-sē, -təp- How to pronounce autopsy (audio)
plural autopsies
: an examination of a body after death usually involving dissection especially to determine the cause of death

called also post mortem, post mortem examination

autopsy transitive verb

More from Merriam-Webster on autopsy

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