Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The connection of separate parts of a branching system to form a network, as of leaf veins, blood vessels, or a river and its branches.
  • n. Medicine The surgical connection of separate or severed tubular hollow organs to form a continuous channel, as between two parts of the intestine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a cross-connection between two blood vessels
  • n. an interconnection between any two channels, passages or vessels
  • n. the surgical creation of a connecting passage between blood vessels or other channels

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The inosculation of vessels, or intercommunication between two or more vessels or nerves, as the cross communication between arteries or veins.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In zoology and anatomy, the union, intercommunication, or inosculation of vessels of any system with one another, or with vessels of another system, as the arteries, veins, and lymphatics. In surgery, after ligation of an artery, collateral circulation is established by arterial anastomosis.
  • n. The interlacing or network of any branched system, as the veins of leaves or the nervures of insects' wings. See cut under venation.
  • n. In surgery, the establishment of communication between two canals or two portions of the same canal, usually the digestive tract, not previously in continuity.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a natural or surgical joining of parts or branches of tubular structures so as to make or become continuous

Etymologies

Late Latin anastomōsis, from Greek, outlet, from anastomoun, to furnish with a mouth : ana-, ana- + stoma, mouth.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἀναστόμωσις, from ἀναστομόω ("furnish with a mouth or outlet"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • the bird's nest building in China, built for the Olympics 2008, used this form of joining parts to build the structure.

    June 17, 2009