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[bahy-op-see] /ˈbaɪ ɒp si/
noun, plural biopsies.
the removal for diagnostic study of a piece of tissue from a living body.
a specimen obtained from a biopsy.
verb (used with object), biopsied, biopsying.
to remove (living tissue) for diagnostic evaluation.
1890-95; bi-2 + -opsy1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for biopsy
  • My biopsy involved what can only be described as medieval instruments of torture.
  • If the result is four nanograms per millilitre or above, doctors often recommend a biopsy.
  • Days later, a biopsy revealed a fast-growing cancer in her body.
  • We use samples from excess lung tissue of human origin, biopsy specimens, and tissues from donors.
  • The receptionist told me the doctor would call me with the results of my biopsy in an hour, if she didn't go home first.
  • Based on such findings, the urologist may recommend a biopsy.
  • She had no choice but to perform a biopsy on herself.
  • Extract stem cells from two-day-old embryos using a non-lethal biopsy technique.
  • Pressure will be applied to the biopsy site to stop any bleeding.
  • My instructions as biopsy guy were to wait for the bang of the tag applicator before firing my crossbow.
British Dictionary definitions for biopsy


noun (pl) -sies
examination, esp under a microscope, of tissue from a living body to determine the cause or extent of a disease
the sample taken for such an examination
Derived Forms
bioptic (baɪˈɒptɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C20: from bio- + Greek opsis sight
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 biopsy

1895, from French biopsie, coined by French dermatologist Ernest Besnier (1831-1909) from Greek bi- comb. form of bios "life" (see bio-) + opsis "a sight" (see eye (n.)). As a verb, from 1964.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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biopsy in Medicine

biopsy bi·op·sy (bī'ŏp'sē)

  1. The removal and examination of a sample of tissue from a living body for diagnostic purposes.

  2. A specimen so obtained.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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biopsy in Science
A sample of tissue removed from a living body by a medical provider for diagnostic purposes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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