What does dissect mean?

Definitions for dissect
dɪˈsɛkt, daɪ-dis·sect

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word dissect.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. dissectverb

    cut open or cut apart

    "dissect the bodies for analysis"

  2. analyze, analyse, break down, dissect, take apartverb

    make a mathematical, chemical, or grammatical analysis of; break down into components or essential features

    "analyze a specimen"; "analyze a sentence"; "analyze a chemical compound"


  1. dissectverb

    To study an animal's anatomy by cutting it apart; to perform a necropsy or an autopsy.

  2. dissectverb

    To study a plant or other organism's anatomy similarly.

  3. dissectverb

    To analyze an idea in detail by separating it into its parts.

  4. dissectverb

    To separate muscles, organs, and so on without cutting into them or disrupting their architecture.

    Now dissect the triceps away from its attachment on the humerus.

  5. dissectverb

    Of an infection or foreign material, following the fascia separating muscles or other organs.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To DISSECTverb

    Etymology: disseco, Latin.

    No mask, no trick, no favour, no reserve;
    Dissect your mind, examine every nerve. Wentworth Dillon.

    Following life in creatures we dissect,
    We lose it in the moment we detect. Alexander Pope.

    This paragraph, that has not one ingenuous word throughout, I have dissected for a sample. Francis Atterbury.


  1. dissect

    Dissection (from Latin dissecare "to cut to pieces"; also called anatomization) is the dismembering of the body of a deceased animal or plant to study its anatomical structure. Autopsy is used in pathology and forensic medicine to determine the cause of death in humans. Less extensive dissection of plants and smaller animals preserved in a formaldehyde solution is typically carried out or demonstrated in biology and natural science classes in middle school and high school, while extensive dissections of cadavers of adults and children, both fresh and preserved are carried out by medical students in medical schools as a part of the teaching in subjects such as anatomy, pathology and forensic medicine. Consequently, dissection is typically conducted in a morgue or in an anatomy lab. Dissection has been used for centuries to explore anatomy. Objections to the use of cadavers have led to the use of alternatives including virtual dissection of computer models.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Dissectverb

    to divide into separate parts; to cut in pieces; to separate and expose the parts of, as an animal or a plant, for examination and to show their structure and relations; to anatomize

  2. Dissectverb

    to analyze, for the purposes of science or criticism; to divide and examine minutely

  3. Etymology: [L. dissectus, p. p. of dissecare; dis- + secare to cut. See Section.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Dissect

    dis-sekt′, v.t. to cut asunder: to cut into parts for the purpose of minute examination: to divide and examine: to analyse and criticise (often hostilely, as a man's character or motives).—adj. Dissect′ible.—ns. Dissect′ing; Dissec′tion, the act or the art of cutting in pieces a plant or animal in order to ascertain the structure of its parts: anatomy.—adj. Dissect′ive, tending to dissect.—n. Dissect′or.—Dissected map, picture, a map or picture on a board cut into pieces, so that the putting of them together forms a puzzle. [L. dissecāre, dissectumdis, asunder, secāre, to cut.]

Matched Categories

How to pronounce dissect?

How to say dissect in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of dissect in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of dissect in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of dissect in a Sentence

  1. David Shulkin:

    When there's time to look back upon the situation and we dissect the response, I think the big deficiency is going to be the fact that we were not prepared for testing.

  2. Michael Rueda:

    Some of the small deals are dictated by legal documents, there are clauses in there that can trip you up, and you have to be aware of at least what it means. You may not be able to sort of dissect the nuances, but you have to understand what the impact is because brands are savvy enough to stick that stuff in there.

  3. Shanann Watts:

    One time, someone left two Happy Meals for the girls on the porch. Some were compelled to make contact with Chris Watts. It was incredibly disturbing. And there has been so much speculation in the YouTube community. They even call it ‘ Watts Island, ’ where they have these ongoing speculations about the case and dissect every portion of it. I felt very sad when Shanann’s dad had to fly all the way to Colorado just to tell people to stop harassing Chris Watts after having gone through so much. There was just a lot of negative energy.

  4. John Boehner:

    Ask anyone in the Capitol - Republican, Democrat, or otherwise -- about Michael Steel, and they will tell you the same thing: he is a pro's pro, for more than seven years, I have relied on his ability to dissect an issue, win a debate, and deal openly and honestly with the press.

  5. Henry Kravis:

    At KKR, we devote a great deal of time, attention and creativity trying to dissect, understand and anticipate change with the goal of achieving consistently strong returns for our investors.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for dissect

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for dissect »


Find a translation for the dissect definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"dissect." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 24 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/dissect>.

Discuss these dissect definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for dissect? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    a hazy or indistinct representation
    • A. blur
    • B. inspire
    • C. distinguish
    • D. conceal

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for dissect: