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autotomy

[aw-tot-uh-mee] /ɔˈtɒt ə mi/
noun, plural autotomies.
1.
Zoology.
  1. separation of a body part.
  2. self-amputation of a damaged or trapped appendage.
2.
the performance of surgery upon oneself.
Origin
1895-1900
1895-1900; auto-1 + -tomy
Related forms
autotomic
[aw-tuh-tom-ik] /ˌɔ təˈtɒm ɪk/ (Show IPA),
autotomous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for autotomous

autotomy

/ɔːˈtɒtəmɪ/
noun (pl) -mies
1.
the casting off by an animal of a part of its body, to facilitate escape when attacked
Derived Forms
autotomic (ˌɔːtəˈtɒmɪk) adjective
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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autotomous in Medicine

autotomy au·tot·o·my (ô-tŏt'ə-mē)
n.
The spontaneous casting off of a body part, especially of an invertebrate, when injured or under attack.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for autotomous

autotomy

the ability of certain animals to release part of the body that has been grasped by an external agent. A notable example is found among lizards that break off the tail when it is seized by a predator. The phenomenon is found also among certain worms, salamanders, and spiders. The cast-off part is sometimes regenerated

Learn more about autotomy with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Word Value for autotomous

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