Definition of anatomy in English:


Line breaks: anat|omy
Pronunciation: /əˈnatəmi

noun (plural anatomies)

1 [mass noun] The branch of science concerned with the bodily structure of humans, animals, and other living organisms, especially as revealed by dissection and the separation of parts: he studied physiology and anatomy human anatomy
More example sentences
  • The basic human sciences involved are anatomy, physiology, and psychology.
  • The book is primarily designed for students of forensic anthropology and presumes a background in human anatomy and osteology.
  • No study in the history of physics, chemistry, biology or human anatomy and physiology has determined the concept of chi to be an accurate description of how the body works.
1.1 [count noun] The bodily structure of an organism: descriptions of the cat’s anatomy and behaviour
More example sentences
  • But it has led scientists to believe that some animals with very different anatomies are related - for instance, the kangaroo and the platypus, and the hippo and whale.
  • The meat-happy book's unintentional humor peaks with diagrams of different animals' anatomies.
  • The anatomy of different oaks has implications for barrel making.
1.2 [count noun] informal A person’s body: every part of his anatomy hurt she was unable to reach for the bag in case she revealed more of her anatomy than she already had
More example sentences
  • Speaking about aches in southern regions of the anatomy, what about Becks's female counterpart, the tennis impostor Anna Kournikova?
  • What other part of the anatomy can I show that is going to top that?
  • Pains in other parts of the anatomy also come to mind whenever I think about him.
2A study of the structure or internal workings of something: a detailed anatomy of a society and its institutions
More example sentences
  • Although several books have been produced recently on sectional anatomy, none appear to be intended as detailed, comprehensive anatomies.
  • Webster employs this episode in a final analysis of the anatomy of contemporary New Zealand anthropology and Maori studies.
  • He has picked up the latest version of the anatomy of GAA positions, but I have only room left to deal with the first line of defence this week.


late Middle English: from Old French anatomie or late Latin anatomia, from Greek, from ana- 'up' + tomia 'cutting' (from temnein 'to cut').

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