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[uh-nat-uh-mee] /əˈnæt ə mi/
noun, plural anatomies.
the science dealing with the structure of animals and plants.
the structure of an animal or plant, or of any of its parts.
dissection of all or part of an animal or plant in order to study its structure.
a plant or animal that has been or will be dissected, or a model of such a dissected organism.
a skeleton.
Informal. the human body.
an analysis or minute examination.
Origin of anatomy
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin anatomia < Greek anatom() a cutting up (ana- ana- + tom- cut (variant of tem-) + noun suffix) + -ia -y3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for anatomy
  • Disable its action and muscles will grow in parts of the anatomy where other animals do not even have them.
  • Its anatomy and evolution shed light on the profound differences between humans and other animals.
  • Perhaps they share anatomy with their closest cousins: antelopes, gazelles, goats and sheep — renowned jumpers all.
  • They have looked at the anatomy of sprinters and found that their feet are built differently from those of couch potatoes.
  • Brain imaging has progressed from gross anatomy to complex circuits.
  • Some of his most fascinating works are his drawings in engineering and anatomy.
  • He taught human anatomy to medical students at the local hospital.
  • This technique looks beyond mere anatomy and produces a three-dimensional picture of the body's biochemical processes.
  • The primary responsibility for this position will be serving as course director for two courses in human gross anatomy.
  • Each page offers a similarly interesting detail, covering a range of topics from anatomy to hunting and dining.
British Dictionary definitions for anatomy


noun (pl) -mies
the science concerned with the physical structure of animals and plants
the physical structure of an animal or plant or any of its parts
a book or treatise on this subject
dissection of an animal or plant
any detailed analysis: the anatomy of a crime
(informal) the human body
Word Origin
C14: from Latin anatomia, from Greek anatomē, from anatemnein to cut up, from ana- + temnein to cut
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for anatomy

late 14c., "study of the structure of living beings;" c.1400, "anatomical structures," from Old French anatomie, from Late Latin anatomia, from Greek anatomia, from anatome "dissection," from ana- "up" (see ana-) + temnein "to cut" (see tome). "Dissection" (1540s), "mummy" (1580s), and "skeleton" (1590s) were primary senses of this word in Shakespeare's day; meaning "the science of the structure of organized bodies" predominated from 17c. Often mistakenly divided as an atomy or a natomy.

The scyence of the Nathomy is nedefull and necessarye to the Cyrurgyen [1541]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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anatomy in Medicine

anatomy a·nat·o·my (ə-nāt'ə-mē)

  1. The morphological structure of a plant or an animal or of any of its parts.

  2. The science of the shape and structure of organisms and their parts.

  3. Dissection of an animal to study the structure, position, and interrelation of its various parts.

  4. A skeleton.

  5. The human body.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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anatomy in Science
  1. The structure of an organism or any of its parts.

  2. The scientific study of the shape and structure of organisms and their parts.

anatomical adjective (ān'ə-tŏm'ĭ-kəl)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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anatomy in Culture

anatomy definition

The structure of an animal or plant; also, the study of this structure through techniques such as microscopic observation and dissection. (Compare morphology and physiology.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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