Definitions

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

  • n. The process of freezing and storing the body of a diseased, recently deceased person to prevent tissue decomposition so that at some future time the person might be brought back to life upon development of new medical cures.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The cryopreservation of a person with medical needs that cannot be met by available medicine until resuscitation and healing by future medicine is possible.

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

  • n. the freezing of a seriously ill or recently deceased person to stop tissues from decomposing; the body is preserved until new medical cures are developed that might bring the person back to life

Etymologies

cry(o)- + -onics, as in bionics.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From cryo- + -ics. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In 1976, after retiring from teaching, he founded the Cryonics Institute, adopting the word "cryonics" from cryogenics, a field of physics that studies how materials behave at very low temperatures.

    NYT > Home Page

  • For the most part, when people think of cryonics, people think about long-term cryonics - that is, freezing people who are dead so they can be revived at some point in the future, as in the mythical frozen corpse of Walt Disney.

    Forbes.com: News

  • The story, accusations that people who had their bodies frozen at extremely low temperatures -- a practice called cryonics -- may have been abused by a company that stored their remains.

    CNN Transcript Oct 9, 2009

  • Mr. Ettinger's ideas, which he popularized in a 1963 book, "The Prospect of Immortality," spawned what some refer to as the cryonics movement, though by most accounts it is a small endeavor: a scattering of enterprises around the country with dues-paying customers totaling a few thousand, a few hundred of whom have actually been deep-frozen.

    NYT > Home Page

  • One critic went so far as to dub cryonics "quackery's last shot at you."

    Gazette.com :

  • The process, known as cryonics, is conducted with the hope that someday scientists will be able to bring the subjects back to life.

    Long Island Press

  • BLITZER: Well, without getting into the specifics of Ted Williams, which I understand you won't discuss, you can't discuss, would it be normal, though, in this kind of cryonics procedure to separate the head from the body?

    CNN Transcript Aug 13, 2003

  • This was taken at a cryonics facility in Phoenix, Arizona, called the Alcor Life Extension Foundation.

    Photographer Murray Ballard's best shot

  • Corvi-Mora, SE11, Fri to 31 JulSSMurray Ballard's The Prospect Of Immortality is the outcome of five years of photographic investigation into the cryonics industry, the technique of deep-freezing a human corpse in the belief or hope that future scientific advances might enable it to be brought back to life.

    This week's new exhibitions

  • Ettinger Family Robert Ettinger Mr. Ettinger, who died Saturday at age 92, popularized cryonics in his 1962 book, "The Prospect of Immortality," where he wrote, "Sooner or later our friends of the future should be equal to the task of reviving and curing us."

    Pursuing Immortality, He Followed a Frozen Path

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.