Where did the word anatomy come from, its history, orgin, any thing?
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'Anatomy' ultimately derives from the Greek word anatémnein, meaning 'to cut open', and first recorded in Herodotus. It came into English in the C14, via the late Latin word 'anatomia'.

Its meaning in Elizabethan literature (e.g. in Donne's 'Anatomy') was usually 'a thing cut up into its constituent parts'. In the C17, the modern meaning ('the science of cutting things up') began to predominate.


OED says this word first appeared in English documents in 1398. "Anatomy is a craft and a science to know the members and limbs of the body be set, ordered and distinguished." (Bartholomew's De Proprietatibus Rerum, translated by Trevisa in 1495). The word came into English from Latin 'anatomia' or Old French 'anatomie'. The word origin was, however, in Greek 'anatomia' (cutting up)= ana (up)(to cut). "Dissection" (1541), "mummy" (1586), and even "skeleton" (1594) were primary senses in Shakespeare's day; meaning "the science of the structure of organized bodies" predominated from 17c. Often misdivided as an atomy or a natomy.

[url="http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=a&p=13 "]Etymology on-Line[/url]


[PS] Sorry for MrP ! I didn't notice you had already answered.
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No problem at all, Paco – I was hoping you would see this and add the OED's account!

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