Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. See autopsy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The pathological dissection of a corpse; particularly to determine cause of death. Applicable to the examination of any life form.
  • v. The act of performing a necropsy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A post-mortem examination or inspection; an autopsy. See autopsy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as necroscopy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an examination and dissection of a dead body to determine cause of death or the changes produced by disease

Etymologies

From the Ancient Greek νεκρός (nekros, "dead") and όψις (opsis, "eye"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The only difference between a necropsy and an autopsy is that the word necropsy is more usually applied to animals.

    MetaFilter

  • It took me YEARS to forget the smell of the dolphin necropsy I once observed! (

    mrissa: That stinks.

  • I've spent some time today contemplating why it is that what I always thought of as an autopsy is called a necropsy in all of my current working environments.

    scorpi07 Diary Entry

  • But the results of an animal autopsy on each dog, called a necropsy, were inconclusive, said American spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan.

    Dose.ca Music briefs

  • An autopsy on the whale, known as a necropsy, would have to be done to narrow down the cause of death, Anna Hall said Monday, "but I would think that based on the wounds that I saw, it was killer-whale predation."

    canada.com Top Stories

  • An animal autopsy, called a necropsy, was performed on the bison in the field with the help of two veterinarians.

    Columnist: Keith Groller

  • When an animal is dead, we perform a necropsy, which is an animal autopsy.

    UnderwaterTimes.com News of the Underwater World

  • A necropsy is the term for a post-mortem examination performed on an animal or inanimate object.

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]

  • A necropsy is a less romantic way of dealing with an elephant's death, but it does, at least, contribute to scientific knowledge of the physiology of the species, which is another kind of monument.

    Torontoist

  • A necropsy is the right thing to do, but will it be worth the expense?

    CattleNetwork

Comments

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  • It is not exactly a synonym for autopsy. Autopsy comes from the greek, auton, meaning "self". Necropsy is properly applied to animals, autopsy to humans. Confusion in this regard vexes me greatly.

    September 23, 2008

  • Stedman's Concise Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions lists it as a synonym for autopsy.

    August 3, 2008

  • "On January 2, a team of scientists ... began a necropsy—measuring and photographing the carcass and collecting blood and tissue samples that would later help them determine what the whale had been suffering from."
    --Nathaniel Philbrick, In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, 232

    May 1, 2008