Dissection is the process of separating something into pieces. Whether the dissection involves taking a poem apart line-by-line to learn its meaning or cutting open a frog to study its insides, you're pulling out the parts that make up a whole to better understand it.

Let's dissect, or take apart, this word for a moment. Dis- means "apart" and section means "to cut", which come together to form the definition of dissection: "to cut apart." When you cut something up into sections you're doing a dissection. The word is commonly used when talking about the process of cutting something apart for scientific purposes, it's also used to talk about taking apart an argument, a poem, or a plan.

Definitions of dissection

n the act of cutting so as to separate into pieces

Type of:
cut, cutting
the act of cutting something into parts

n a minute and critical analysis

Type of:
analysis, analytic thinking
the abstract separation of a whole into its constituent parts in order to study the parts and their relations

n detailed critical analysis or examination one part at a time (as of a literary work)

Type of:
an investigation of the component parts of a whole and their relations in making up the whole

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