Definition of vivisection in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The practice of performing operations on live animals for the purpose of experimentation or scientific research (used only by opponents of such work):

    ‘the abolition of vivisection’
    • ‘At the time i was doing a project at school on vivisection and animal cruelty.’
    • ‘One commenter has even suggested Aaron's lack of posting on animal vivisection in the past somehow means he is being hypocritical now.’
    • ‘The collection on ‘Protecting’ includes vivid protests against vivisection and cruelty to animals.’
    • ‘Still other revisions seek to update Animal Farm by cleverly linking it to topics such as animal rights and vivisection.’
    • ‘I see the point about animal vivisection from both sides of the argument.’
    cutting up, cutting open, dismemberment
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Ruthlessly sharp and detailed criticism or analysis:
      ‘the vivisection of America's seamy underbelly’
      • ‘Although Hirschberg is famous for turning celebrity profiles into celebrity vivisections, her portrait of Seinfeld was basically a Valentine.’


Early 18th century: from Latin vivus living, on the pattern of dissection.