vivisection

noun
viv·​i·​sec·​tion | \ ˌvi-və-ˈsek-shən How to pronounce vivisection (audio) , 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 How to pronounce vivisectional (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
vivisectionist \ ˌvi-​və-​ˈsek-​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce vivisectionist (audio) \ 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 Her father had been a madman who practiced vivisection on human beings; the cruel scientist’s mistress — and Harriet’s mother — was a partly black Creole, who had inherited a taste for blood from the bite of a vampire bat. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, "Sure ‘Dracula’ is great, but don’t overlook Florence Marryat’s ‘The Blood of the Vampire’," 29 Oct. 2019 The New Deal had supposedly grafted these voters to the Democratic party for a generation, yet Dwight Eisenhower managed a spectacular vivisection. Jay Cost, National Review, "How Republicans Can Appeal to the White Working Class," 25 July 2019 The dilution of what constitutes real danger manifests in everything from far-right and far-left extremists engaging in violent and theatrical clashes to the vivisection of individuals’ social-media accounts in search of sins against propriety. Noah Rothman, National Review, "Kevin Williamson’s Revolt against the Hivemind," 25 July 2019 Despite committing serious, egregious crimes against humanity, including vivisection, members of the unit were only lightly punished by the Allies, reportedly in exchange for research data. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "So...Did the Pentagon Use Ticks for Biological Warfare?," 17 July 2019 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 The dilution of what constitutes real danger manifests in everything from far-right and far-left extremists engaging in violent and theatrical clashes to the vivisection of individuals’ social-media accounts in search of sins against propriety. Noah Rothman, National Review, "Kevin Williamson’s Revolt against the Hivemind," 25 July 2019 Despite committing serious, egregious crimes against humanity, including vivisection, members of the unit were only lightly punished by the Allies, reportedly in exchange for research data. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "So...Did the Pentagon Use Ticks for Biological Warfare?," 17 July 2019 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

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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Statistics for vivisection

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for vivisection

The first known use of vivisection was in 1707

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More Definitions for vivisection

vivisection

noun
How to pronounce vivisection (audio)

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 How to pronounce vivisection (audio) \

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 How to pronounce vivisect (audio) \ verb
vivisectional \ ˌviv-​ə-​ˈsek-​shnəl, -​shən-​ᵊl How to pronounce vivisectional (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on vivisection

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vivisection

Spanish Central: Translation of vivisection

Nglish: Translation of vivisection for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about vivisection

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