To analyse (analyze is U.S. English) something is to consider it in detail so you can figure out its workings or meaning.

Analyse comes from Greek roots meaning "loosen." If you analyse something, it's as if you're untying it and letting the different parts separate so that you can study them. If you've got some mystery substance, you can analyse it by performing chemical reactions to break it into its parts. If you analyse a poem, you look at it word-by-word and even sound-by-sound. But remember that analyse is a British spelling, with analyze as the American version.

Definitions of analyse
  1. verb
    break down into components or essential features
    synonyms: analyze
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    factor analyse, factor analyze
    to perform a factor analysis of correlational data
  2. verb
    consider in detail and subject to an analysis in order to discover essential features or meaning
    synonyms: analyze, canvas, canvass, delve, examine, parse, study
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    anatomise, anatomize
    analyze down to the smallest detail
    diagnose, name
    determine or distinguish the nature of a problem or an illness through a diagnostic analysis
    subject to a medical analysis
    appraise, survey
    consider in a comprehensive way
    make a survey of; for statistical purposes
    examine and note the similarities or differences of
    check, check into, check out, check over, check up on, go over, look into, suss out
    examine so as to determine accuracy, quality, or condition
    analyze (chemical substances)
    reexamine, review
    look at again; examine again
    audit, inspect, scrutinise, scrutinize
    examine carefully for accuracy with the intent of verification
    examine methodically
    follow, trace
    follow, discover, or ascertain the course of development of something
    investigate, look into
    investigate scientifically
    sieve, sift
    check and sort carefully
    consider, look at, view
    look at carefully; study mentally
    analyze or examine so as to come to terms with
    examine (organs) for diagnostic purposes
    examine minutely
    delve, explore, research, search
    inquire into
    travel to or penetrate into
    analogise, analogize
    make an analogy
    compare critically; of texts
    subject to a bio-assay
    examine, probe
    question or examine thoroughly and closely
    attempt to find out in a systematic and scientific manner
    look at thoughtfully; observe deep in thought
    look or stare at longingly
    canvas, canvass, poll
    get the opinions (of people) by asking specific questions
    follow, keep an eye on, observe, watch, watch over
    follow with the eyes or the mind
    conduct a test or investigation
  3. verb
    make a mathematical, chemical, or grammatical analysis of; break down into components or essential features
    synonyms: analyze, break down, dissect, take apart
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    synthesise, synthesize
    combine so as to form a more complex product
    analyze syntactically by assigning a constituent structure to (a sentence)
    botanise, botanize
    collect and study plants
  4. verb
    subject to psychoanalytic treatment
    synonyms: analyze, psychoanalyse, psychoanalyze
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    type of:
    care for, treat
    provide treatment for
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