Definition of biopsy in US English:


nounPlural biopsies

  • An examination of tissue removed from a living body to discover the presence, cause, or extent of a disease.

    • ‘A tentative diagnosis of rabies was made on a biopsy and confirmed at autopsy.’
    • ‘In these cases, mistakes frequently are made during examination of endoscopic biopsies.’
    • ‘An alternative approach is cryopreservation of slices or biopsies of ovarian tissue, which contain many thousands of immature oocytes.’
    • ‘The patient would probably benefit from doing transbronchial biopsies with the lavage if that is the prime consideration.’
    • ‘Colonoscopy is preferable to a barium enema because it allows for the biopsy and removal of lesions.’
    • ‘Despite this second assessment, there were still no subtle features of coeliac disease on the initial biopsy.’
    • ‘Microscopic examination of the gastric biopsies revealed the presence of cellular infiltrate in the mucosa and submucosa.’
    • ‘It is still unknown to what extent bronchial biopsies capture pathology at this more peripheral location.’
    • ‘Finally, all women underwent thorough colposcopic examination, including directed biopsies.’
    • ‘While awaiting an appointment for the result of the biopsies, the patient discovered she was pregnant.’
    • ‘Clearly blood tests, radiography, biopsies, and other technology based evaluations qualify.’
    • ‘In addition, later biopsies may show disease progression or regression.’
    • ‘Furthermore, endoscopic biopsies may not be sufficient to make the diagnosis, often requiring a surgical resection.’
    • ‘Surgical biopsies of paraffin-embedded lung tissue, if available, were reviewed by a lung pathologist.’
    • ‘For example, invasive procedures such as needle biopsies are guided by ultrasound images.’
    • ‘The blandness of the spindle cells was so impressive as to dissuade us from a malignant diagnosis on preoperative biopsies.’
    • ‘Among the available follow-up surgical biopsies, no malignant diagnoses were made.’
    • ‘After blood tests and a biopsy, Coeliac disease was confirmed and he was told to give up gluten.’
    • ‘We examined only cervical biopsies in this study, and the results obtained may not be generalizable to other biopsy types.’
    • ‘Ultrasound examination and core biopsies confirm the diagnosis.’


Late 19th century: coined in French from Greek bios ‘life’ + opsis ‘sight’, on the pattern of necropsy.