dis·​sect | \ dī-ˈsekt How to pronounce dissect (audio) also di- How to pronounce dissect (audio) , ˈdī-ˌsekt How to pronounce dissect (audio) \
dissected; dissecting; dissects

Definition of dissect

transitive verb

1 : to separate into pieces : expose the several parts of (something, such as an animal) for scientific examination dissect an earthworm dissecting flowers
2 : to analyze and interpret minutely dissect a problem

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Other Words from dissect

dissector \ dī-​ˈsek-​tər also  di-​ How to pronounce dissector (audio) , ˈdī-​ˌsek-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for dissect

analyze, dissect, break down mean to divide a complex whole into its parts or elements. analyze suggests separating or distinguishing the component parts of something (such as a substance, a process, a situation) so as to discover its true nature or inner relationships. analyzed the collected data dissect suggests a searching analysis by laying bare parts or pieces for individual scrutiny. commentators dissected every word of the speech break down implies a reducing to simpler parts or divisions. break down the budget

Examples of dissect in a Sentence

We dissected a frog in science class. She dissected each point of his argument. We dissected the poem in class. The city is dissected by a network of highways.
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Recent Examples on the Web Spending time alone in a lab and having to dissect mice took a toll. Saabira Chaudhuri, WSJ, "Where a Unilever Cosmetics Exec Established Her Foundation," 3 Oct. 2020 Talk radio segments and media postings/print will dissect the corpse all week long. Dallas News, "Analyzing the Cowboys' 1-2 start to the season and the damage of their self-inflicted wounds," 28 Sep. 2020 The pair use this time to dissect his individual game as well as opponents' skills. Julia Poe, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando City forward Benji Michel thriving in new role," 28 Sep. 2020 On a Tuesday morning in August, Terp was at home trying to dissect the latest misinformation. Sonner Kehrt, Wired, "One Data Scientist’s Quest to Quash Misinformation," 15 Sep. 2020 Pedro Gomez, one of ESPN’s baseball gurus, started to dissect Preller’s version of chaos theory from the top. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Padres now the National League’s great unknown team after deadline deals," 8 Sep. 2020 Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Gehrke joins host Bryan Schott to dissect the latest Utah political headlines. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, "‘Utah Politics’ podcast: McAdams vs. Owens, Cox on the coronavirus and the Bagley controversy," 4 Sep. 2020 Without a playoff game to dissect, ESPN's analysts filled the airtime with discussions about racial injustice. Kerry Flynn, CNN, "ESPN and competitors ditch their 'stick to sports' mantra. Politics is now fair game," 1 Sep. 2020 IndyStar sports columnist Gregg Doyel and local media personality Derek Schultz dissect that Game 4 dud, the Pacers' path forward and the comparison between Takuma Sato and ... Gregg Doyel, The Indianapolis Star, "Doyel & Derek: Pacers' future murky after another playoff dud, plus Takuma Sato's Indy 500 win," 25 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dissect.' 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 dissect

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for dissect

Latin dissectus, past participle of dissecare to cut apart, from dis- + secare to cut — more at saw

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Time Traveler for dissect

Time Traveler

The first known use of dissect was in 1598

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Statistics for dissect

Last Updated

9 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dissect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissect. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for dissect


How to pronounce dissect (audio) How to pronounce dissect (audio) How to pronounce dissect (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dissect

: to cut (a plant or dead animal) into separate parts in order to study it
: to study or examine (something) closely and carefully
: to divide (something) into parts


dis·​sect | \ di-ˈsekt How to pronounce dissect (audio) \
dissected; dissecting

Kids Definition of dissect

: to cut or take apart especially for examination We dissected a flower in science class.
dis·​sect | \ dis-ˈekt; dī-ˈsekt How to pronounce dissect (audio) , ˈdī-ˌ How to pronounce dissect (audio) \

Medical Definition of dissect

: to cut so as to separate into pieces or to expose the several parts of (as an animal or a cadaver) for scientific examination specifically : to separate or follow along natural lines of cleavage (as through connective tissue) dissect out the regional lymph nodes a dissecting aneurysm

intransitive verb

: to make a medical dissection

Other Words from dissect

dissector \ -​ər How to pronounce dissector (audio) \ noun

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