Definition of anatomize in US English:


(British anatomise)


[with object]
  • 1Dissect (a body).

    • ‘They were not like Da Vinci, who would anatomize corpses to learn about the conformation of the human body.’
    • ‘He also uses anatomising skill to get under the skin of these shifty doctors.’
    • ‘To be sure, the body is a book and those anatomizing doctors read its parts with the scholarly attention that Professor Bearing had lavished on her Donne texts, both doctors and scholar eschewing the sentimental, the merely human.’
    • ‘We get as close as we are ever likely - or might wish - to seeing the dissection from the point of view of the anatomized cadaver, following the route the cadaver took and the rituals it underwent from gibbet to dissecting table.’
    • ‘A human being could - and should - be studied in its anatomized form.’
    • ‘Torn, we are told, was so obsessed by anatomical study that he stashed anatomized body parts under his bed, an unhealthy practice that contributed to his early death.’
    • ‘As a practice that brought together artists and anatomists and as a process associated with the making of art, anatomizing had more to do with creative assemblage than with the violation and destruction of the body.’
    cut up, cut open, lay open, dismember
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    1. 1.1 Examine and analyze in detail.
      ‘successful comedy is notoriously difficult to anatomize’
      • ‘Thomas Carlyle was perhaps the first to anatomize the note of division that in part defines the cultural crisis inherited by Howards End.’
      • ‘The rest of the parish sketches will devote themselves to anatomizing the differences between this superseded charity and this emergent reform.’
      • ‘My having found it so marks a lazy mind I think, because the poem isn't too difficult - though I then proceeded to enjoy myself pretending it was as I bluntly anatomized it.’
      • ‘It was in that year that he wrote a set of poems anatomizing his despair over losing the battle to Maynard Keynes for the affections of their fellow apostle, Hobhouse.’
      • ‘In anatomizing the ‘beast,’ Wright both follows and makes strategic revisions in the stereotype.’
      • ‘His masterpiece is Rossetti and his Circle, published in 1922, which wickedly and wittily anatomizes the foibles of the Pre-Raphaelites.’
      • ‘Here, however, he anatomises Ibsen with luminous clarity.’
      • ‘For example, in section 15, he anatomizes the titles of some books and finds them wanting because of the divergence between their titles and their contents, implicitly inviting the reader to perform the same operation on his book.’
      • ‘With estimable discipline, Smith's inquiry anatomizes vocal volume and pitch, yet rhythm receives scant attention and, not surprisingly, scrutiny of poetic meter is wanting.’
      • ‘There was no leader whose speech could be dissected, no party whose splits could be anatomised, no single manifesto whose implications could be discussed.’
      • ‘She anatomizes an enduring ‘culture of courtship’ but rejects Alan Macfarlane's highly individualistic interpretation of that culture.’
      • ‘There is no work anywhere to my knowledge that attempts with the precision and stamina of this one to anatomize a compositional process down to its very last move.’
      • ‘MySpace doesn't just create social networks, it anatomizes them.’
      • ‘In anatomizing character, the Victorians' leading fear ‘was not moral relativism but weakness of will.’’
      • ‘Native Son, which so closely follows the Dixonian logic while turning it inside out - logic that remains, sadly, a prominent and enduring strand in American culture - anatomizes this interlocking of whites and their ‘beasts.’’
      • ‘Raymond anatomizes a project called ‘fetchmail,’ that he ran as an experiment for the new theories concerning software engineering suggested by the development model of Linux.’
      • ‘As such, monuments are uniquely qualified to figure prominently in the ‘aesthetic of destruction,’ the imagination of disaster famously anatomized by Susan Sontag.’
      • ‘Wright anatomizes all Dixon's premises when Bigger crosses the color line and enters the Daltons' white house.’
      • ‘A New Shirt, a novel, and the story collections The Mourning Thief, Lebanon Lodge, and A Link with the River show Hogan anatomizing his own fictional world of the western midlands.’
      • ‘In this extraordinary passage, Wright anatomizes the lynch mentality: collective hysteria as a matter of symbolic racial representation.’
      survey, study, research, consider, take stock of, analyse, audit, examine, scrutinize, enquire into, make enquiries into, explore, look into, probe, investigate, conduct investigations into, inspect, assess, appraise, size up
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Late Middle English: from medieval Latin anatomizare, from anatomia (see anatomy).