from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act or an instance of dissecting.
  • noun Something that has been dissected, such as a tissue specimen under study.
  • noun A detailed examination or analysis.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In botany, the condition of being dissected. See dissected.
  • noun In geology, the erosion of a land-surface into numerous irregular valleys. See dissect, 4.
  • noun The operation of cutting open or separating into parts. Specifically
  • noun The process of cutting into parts an animal or a plant, or a part of one, in such a way as to show its structure or to separate one or more of its organs or tissues for examination: as, the dissection of a dog; the dissection of a hand or a flower.
  • noun The act of separating anything into distinct or elementary parts for the purpose of critical examination; treatment or consideration of something in detail or point by point.
  • noun A segment; a division; a part.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of dissecting an animal or plant.
  • noun Fig.: The act of separating or dividing for the purpose of critical examination.
  • noun Anything dissected; especially, some part, or the whole, of an animal or plant dissected so as to exhibit the structure; an anatomical so prepared.
  • noun a poisoned wound incurred during the dissection of a dead body.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The act of dissecting, or something dissected
  • noun A minute and detailed examination or analysis

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

  • noun detailed critical analysis or examination one part at a time (as of a literary work)
  • noun a minute and critical analysis
  • noun cutting so as to separate into pieces


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word dissection.


  • But name calling and quote dissection is not acceptable.

    White House launches counteroffensive over Drudge Report link 2009

  • Though not interested in dissection and content to bring the curiosity to me, she was not at all satisfied that I opted to release it.

    Future herders and hunters of America | Radical Futures Project 2008

  • Regardless of the reasons, Indian anatomists and zoologists, who were no doubt just as curious as the Greeks about the origins of life, and as skilled in dissection, did not feel compelled to set their disciplines up in opposition to metaphysics.

    LSD and the Third Eye 1966

  • But that's not really what Childress can do, because if he takes Favre's option to play out of Favre's hands, he's creating a full-scale mutiny, opening himself up to dissection from the press, and putting himself in the firing line by basically acknowledging what is becoming more and more obvious: Favre or not, the Vikings are a rapidly aging team, lacking the overall talent at this point in time to make a clear Super Bowl run.

    Dealing with the devil Doug Farrar 2010

  • As a result, "the dissection is the least of his problems," said Stephan A.

    Stricken Senator Makes Progress Thomas M. Burton 2012

  • The dissection is the shearing away of an inner wall of the aorta, most likely caused by an aneurysm or dilation of this section.

    With Love and Laughter, John Ritter Amy Yasbeck 2010

  • Like someone getting their jaw torn off, or a person getting cleaved in half by a sword dissection by bisection?

    Archive 2009-02-01 Paul 2009

  • I was going to say something about how the lead singer of the Cramps, Lux Interior, was doing the most disgusting stuff imaginable, but I'll refrain, as I just learned that Lux died in February of an aortic dissection, which is the same heart problem that also took John Ritter's life.

    September 2009 2009

  • Like someone getting their jaw torn off, or a person getting cleaved in half by a sword dissection by bisection?

    Comic Break: Ferryman #5 (DC/Wildstorm) Paul 2009

  • The New York Times devoted parts of three pages in its Sunday Business section to a 3,500-word dissection of the problems at Ford, yet amazingly failed to mention even once the words at the heart of the auto industry's troubles: pensions and health insurance.

    Eric J. Weiner: Hey NYT: Ford's Problem Is Pensions & Health Insurance 2008


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.