(Greek: ana, up; temno, cut: cutting up, dissecting)
The study of the composition, form, and structure of the bodies of living beings.
As the purpose of this study is chiefly to discover means of preventing disease and preserving human life, and as the principal medieval and modern anatomists were physicians and surgeons, this subject is treated under the general title of medicine.
It is of special interest to Catholics because the leading pioneers in the science were Catholics, and with the encouragement of the Church, although the authorities of the Church have been erroneously, as is now admitted, accused of persecuting distinguished anatomists.
New Catholic Dictionary