in·​ci·​sion | \in-ˈsi-zhən \

Definition of incision 

1a : cut, gash specifically : a wound made especially in surgery by incising the body

b : a marginal notch (as in a leaf)

2 : an act of incising something

3 : the quality or state of being incisive

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for incision


gash, laceration, rent, rip, slash, slit, tear

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of incision in a Sentence

the surgeon made a thin incision with the scalpel

Recent Examples on the Web

As seen in the picture, Miller has an incision running all the way from her neck to her lower back. Andrea Park, SELF, "After a Second Back Surgery, Abby Lee Miller Shows Off Her Healing Progress on Instagram," 2 July 2018 The fat is treated and then grafted to the buttocks through surgical incisions. Sarah Blaskey, Sonia Osorio And Daniel Chang, miamiherald, "She dreamed of getting plastic surgery in Miami. Three days later, she was dead.," 13 June 2018 Guided by ultrasound, an incision in Alysha’s uterus exposed the baby’s chest and arms, which the surgeons splayed out, like a gymnast at the end of a routine — chest up, back arched. Emily Sohn, Washington Post, "A tumor growing on her baby’s heart forced this pregnant mom to make a terrifying choice," 29 Apr. 2018 That approach begins with an incision in the inframammary fold, and the pectoralis muscle is then identified and incised, explains Smith. Erin Nicole Celletti, Allure, "The Complete Guide to Breast Augmentation," 10 Apr. 2018 Or when your mother helps you empty four plastic bulbs of cloudy orange liquid draining from your chest incisions twice a day for weeks. Sascha Cohen, SELF, "I Felt Like I Deserved My Breast Cancer," 17 May 2018 Miniaturized medical instruments are inserted through small incisions and controlled by the surgeon via a console next to the patient. Cincinnati Enquirer,, "Leading through expertise, innovation: TriHealth performs 15,000th robotic-assisted surgery," 24 Apr. 2018 Experts also agree that no more than two prior low transverse cesarean incisions are best when trying for a VBAC to avoid risk of uterine rupture. Mariko Zapf, Good Housekeeping, "I Had A Successful Vaginal Birth After A Cesarean (VBAC)—Here's What You Need To Know," 16 Nov. 2017 Occasionally the knife makes these incisions with care, as if getting started on a surgical procedure; other times the work is rapid and violent. Ashleigh Young, The Cut, "Ghost Knife," 2 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of incision

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about incision

Dictionary Entries near incision



incised meander





Statistics for incision

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for incision

The first known use of incision was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for incision



English Language Learners Definition of incision

: a cut made in something; especially medical : a cut made into the body during surgery


in·​ci·​sion | \in-ˈsi-zhən \

Kids Definition of incision

: an act of cutting into something or the cut or wound that results


in·​ci·​sion | \in-ˈsizh-ən \

Medical Definition of incision 

1 : a cut or wound of body tissue made especially in surgery

2 : an act of incising something the surgeon's incision of the tissues

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on incision

What made you want to look up incision? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!