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

  • transitive v. To dissect (an animal or other organism) to study the structure and relation of the parts.
  • transitive v. To analyze in minute detail: "Pynchon is the devil who went beyond the grave to anatomize the remains of the modern soul” ( Josephine Hendin). See Synonyms at analyze.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To inspect or investigate by dissection.
  • v. To scrutinize down to the most minute detail.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To dissect; to cut in pieces, as an animal vegetable body, for the purpose of displaying or examining the structure and use of the several parts.
  • transitive v. To discriminate minutely or carefully; to analyze.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To dissect, as a plant or an animal, for the purpose of showing the position, structure, and relation of the parts; display the anatomy of.
  • Figuratively, to analyze or examine minutely; consider point by point.
  • In chem., to make an analysis of.
  • To practise the art of dissection; pursue anatomy as an employment, a science, or an art.
  • Also spelled anatomise.

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

  • v. analyze down to the smallest detail
  • v. dissect in order to analyze


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I offer the following flim-flam to the examination of your readers, all of whom are, I presume, more or less, readers of Shakspeare, and far better qualified than I am to "anatomize" his writings, and "see what bred about his heart."

    Notes and Queries, Number 15, February 9, 1850

  • Remainder doesn't pretend to anatomize the human mind, translating its ineffable qualities into sensible prose, as so much middling psychological realism post-Joyce and post-Woolf generally settles for.

    Point of View in Fiction

  • Easy to appeal to but hard to anatomize and harder to practice intelligently, there are honorable loyalties, but there are also stupid ones, and destructive ones, and it is particularly self-righteous and futile to stress it in a relationship that involves careers, talent and business.

    David Colbert: Styron's Choice: Authors, Editors, and Loyalty

  • While seeking out and trying to anatomize the strange gardens abandoned in place by the Outers' greatest genius, Avernus, the gene wizard Sri Hong-Owen is embroiled in the plots and counterplots of the family that employs her.

    Archive 2009-12-01

  • But now, as George Orwell, he is in a position to anatomize the economic and class infrastructure of St. Cyprian's, and those hierarchies of power that the pupil would later meet in grown-up, public, political form: in this respect those schools were truly named "preparatory."

    Such, Such Was Eric Blair

  • Thus, during mid-century, the business of American cultural historians was to anatomize the triumphant American

    Introduction: A History of Transatlantic Romanticism

  • For the society Sander set out to anatomize into permanent categories was changing rapidly -- indeed, was hurtling toward self-destruction.

    Just Regular Volks

  • Light, which has enabled me to see all these different and distant beings, is perfectly unknown to me; I am able by the help of a prism to anatomize this light, and divide it into seven pencillings of rays; but I cannot divide these pencillings themselves; I know not of what they are composed.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • And Murray, in turn, had been influenced by Dr Johnson, whose Dictionary has agonize, analyze, anatomize, and so on.

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • Klaus Scherer and his Geneva school have elaborated appraisal theories into sophisticated models that anatomize different emotions in terms of some eighteen or more dimensions of appraisal.



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  • "Here he anatomizes his worst traits: laziness, nostalgia, gluttony, hypochondria, some essential frivolity of mind that means his writing will always be summed up as “‘brilliant’ – that is, not worth doing”."

    Source: The times Literary supplement

    January 22, 2018