vivisection

noun
viv·i·sec·tion | \ ˌvi-və-ˈsek-shən , ˈvi-və-ˌsek- \

Definition of vivisection 

1 : the cutting of or operation on a living animal usually for physiological or pathological investigation broadly : animal experimentation especially if considered to cause distress to the subject

2 : minute or pitiless examination or criticism

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Other words from vivisection

vivisectional \ˌvi-və-ˈsek-shnəl, -shə-nᵊl \ adjective
vivisectionist \ˌvi-və-ˈsek-sh(ə-)nist \ noun

Did You Know?

Vivisection includes the Latin root sect, meaning "cut". The Greek physician Galen, who lived during the 2nd century A.D., practiced vivisection on live monkeys and dogs to learn such things as the role of the spinal cord in muscle activity and whether veins and arteries carry air or blood; his findings formed the basis of medical practice for more than a thousand years. Vivisection continues to be used in drug and medical research today, but often in secret, since it makes most people very uncomfortable and some groups are violently opposed to it.

Examples of vivisection in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But just because the Warriors had their largest playoff victory ever, a 126-85 vivisection of Houston, doesn’t mean Game 4 will be easy. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors “avalanche” buries Houston in Game 3," 20 May 2018 His vivisection of the opposition and ruthless exercise of power have put him in position to win re-election, despite a record of governance that would destroy most presidents. The Economist, "As Venezuelans go hungry, their government holds a farcical election," 17 May 2018 The jam lab researchers determine how the missile tracks its targets, and any new methods are revealed by this electronic vivisection. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "What Happens to a Cruise Missile Captured by the Russians," 26 Apr. 2018 Anti-vivisection activists found what may have seemed to be the real-life equivalent of Victor Frankenstein in scientists like Claude Bernard. Emily Anthes, Slate Magazine, "The Vivisectionist and Frankenstein," 18 Jan. 2017 Bernard inherited his mentor’s reverence for the experimental method and unapologetic reliance on vivisection. Emily Anthes, Slate Magazine, "The Vivisectionist and Frankenstein," 18 Jan. 2017

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

1707, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vivisection

Latin vivus + English section

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The first known use of vivisection was in 1707

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More Definitions for vivisection

vivisection

noun

English Language Learners Definition of vivisection

: the activity or practice of doing scientific or medical experiments on live animals

vivisection

noun
vivi·sec·tion | \ ˌviv-ə-ˈsek-shən, ˈviv-ə-ˌ \

Medical Definition of vivisection 

: the cutting of or operation on a living animal usually for physiological or pathological investigation broadly : animal experimentation especially if considered to cause distress or result in injury or death to the subject

Other words from vivisection

vivisect \-ˈsekt \ verb
vivisectional \ˌviv-ə-ˈsek-shnəl, -shən-ᵊl \ adjective

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