dissect

Synonym Chooser

How is the word dissect distinct from other similar verbs?

The words analyze and break down are common synonyms of dissect. While all three words mean "to divide a complex whole into its parts or elements," dissect suggests a searching analysis by laying bare parts or pieces for individual scrutiny.

commentators dissected every word of the speech

When might analyze be a better fit than dissect?

The words analyze and dissect are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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

When can break down be used instead of dissect?

The meanings of break down and dissect largely overlap; however, break down implies a reducing to simpler parts or divisions.

break down the budget

Thesaurus Entries Near dissect

Cite this Entry

“Dissect.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/dissect. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on dissect

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY