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 Dictionary entry overview: What does surgery mean? 

SURGERY (noun)
  The noun SURGERY has 4 senses:

1. the branch of medical science that treats disease or injury by operative procedures
2. a room where a doctor or dentist can be consulted
3. a room in a hospital equipped for the performance of surgical operations
4. a medical procedure involving an incision with instruments; performed to repair damage or arrest disease in a living body

  Familiarity information: SURGERY used as a noun is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

SURGERY (noun)

Sense 1surgery [BACK TO TOP]


The branch of medical science that treats disease or injury by operative procedures

Classified under:

Nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents

Context example:

he is professor of surgery at the Harvard Medical School

Hypernyms ("surgery" is a kind of...):

medical science (the science of dealing with the maintenance of health and the prevention and treatment of disease)

Domain member category:

exenterate (remove the contents of (an organ))

enucleate (remove (a tumor or eye) from an enveloping sac or cover)

decerebrate (remove the cerebrum from (a human body))

ligate (bind with a bandage or ligature)

phlebothrombosis; venous thrombosis (thrombosis of a vein without prior inflammation of the vein; associated with sluggish blood flow (as in prolonged bedrest or pregnancy or surgery) or with rapid coagulation of the blood)

amastia (absence of the mammary glands (either through surgery or developmental defect))

extirpate (surgically remove (an organ))

graft; transplant ((surgery) tissue or organ transplanted from a donor to a recipient; in some cases the patient can be both donor and recipient)

stoma (a mouth or mouthlike opening (especially one created by surgery on the surface of the body to create an opening to an internal organ))

landmark (an anatomical structure used as a point of origin in locating other anatomical structures (as in surgery) or as point from which measurements can be taken)

drain (tube inserted into a body cavity (as during surgery) to remove unwanted material)

centesis ((surgery) the act of puncturing a body cavity or organ with a hollow needle in order to draw out fluid)

operation; surgery; surgical operation; surgical procedure; surgical process (a medical procedure involving an incision with instruments; performed to repair damage or arrest disease in a living body)

ligation ((surgery) tying a duct or blood vessel with a ligature (as to prevent bleeding during surgery))

maxillofacial (of or relating to the upper jaw and face (particularly with reference to specialized surgery of the maxilla))

Sense 2surgery [BACK TO TOP]


A room where a doctor or dentist can be consulted

Classified under:

Nouns denoting man-made objects

Context example:

he read the warning in the doctor's surgery

Hypernyms ("surgery" is a kind of...):

room (an area within a building enclosed by walls and floor and ceiling)

Domain region:

Britain; GB; Great Britain; U.K.; UK; United Kingdom; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (a monarchy in northwestern Europe occupying most of the British Isles; divided into England and Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland)

Sense 3surgery [BACK TO TOP]


A room in a hospital equipped for the performance of surgical operations

Classified under:

Nouns denoting man-made objects


operating theatre; operating theater; operating room; OR; surgery

Context example:

great care is taken to keep the operating rooms aseptic

Hypernyms ("surgery" is a kind of...):

hospital room (a room in a hospital for the care of patients)

Sense 4surgery [BACK TO TOP]


A medical procedure involving an incision with instruments; performed to repair damage or arrest disease in a living body

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions


surgical operation; surgical procedure; surgical process; surgery; operation

Context examples:

they will schedule the operation as soon as an operating room is available / he died while undergoing surgery

Hypernyms ("surgery" is a kind of...):

medical procedure (a procedure employed by medical or dental practitioners)

Meronyms (parts of "surgery"):

haemostasia; haemostasis; hemostasia; hemostasis (surgical procedure of stopping the flow of blood (as with a hemostat))

incision; section; surgical incision (the cutting of or into body tissues or organs (especially by a surgeon as part of an operation))

suturing (surgical joining of two surfaces)

Domain category:

surgery (the branch of medical science that treats disease or injury by operative procedures)

Domain member category:

hypophysectomise; hypophysectomize (remove the pituitary glands)

ablate (remove an organ or bodily structure)

decorticate (remove the cortex of (an organ))

suction (empty or clean (a body cavity) by the force of suction)

freeze (anesthetize by cold)

trepan (cut a hole with a trepan, as in surgery)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "surgery"):

vivisection (the act of operating on living animals (especially in scientific research))

photocoagulation (surgical procedure that uses an intense laser beam to destroy diseased retinal tissue or to make a scar that will hold the retina in cases of detached retina)

phlebectomy (surgical removal or all or part of a vein; sometimes done in cases of severe varicose veins)

palatopharyngoplasty; PPP; UPPP; uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (surgical resection of unnecessary palatal and oropharyngeal tissue to open the airway; intended to cure extreme cases of snoring (with or without sleep apnea))

ostomy (surgical procedure that creates an artificial opening for the elimination of bodily wastes)

osteotomy (surgical sectioning of bone)

orchiopexy (operation to bring an undescended testicle into the scrotum)

neurosurgery (any surgery that involves the nervous system (brain or spinal cord or peripheral nerves))

myringotomy (surgical incision into the eardrum (to relieve pressure or release pus from the middle ear))

myringoplasty (surgical repair of a perforated eardrum with a tissue graft)

myringectomy (surgical removal of the eardrum)

myotomy (surgical incision or division of a muscle)

minor surgery (any surgical procedure that does not involve anesthesia or respiratory assistance)

microsurgery (surgery using operating microscopes and miniaturized precision instruments to perform intricate procedures on very small structures)

major surgery (any surgical procedure that involves anesthesia or respiratory assistance)

anaplasty; plastic surgery; reconstructive surgery (surgery concerned with therapeutic or cosmetic reformation of tissue)

polypectomy (surgical removal of a polyp)

vasovasostomy (a surgical procedure that attempts to restore the function of the vas deferens after a vasectomy)

uranoplasty (surgical correction of a defect of the palate)

tympanoplasty (surgical correction or repair of defects or injuries in the eardrum or the bones of the middle ear)

trephination (a operation that removes a circular section of bone from the skull)

organ transplant; transplant; transplantation (an operation moving an organ from one organism (the donor) to another (the recipient))

tracheostomy; tracheotomy (a surgical operation that creates an opening into the trachea with a tube inserted to provide a passage for air; performed when the pharynx is obstructed by edema or cancer or other causes)

taxis (the surgical procedure of manually restoring a displaced body part)

strabotomy (the surgical operation of cutting a muscle or tendon of the eye in order to correct strabismus)

sterilisation; sterilization (the act of making an organism barren or infertile (unable to reproduce))

purse-string operation; Shirodkar's operation (a surgical procedure in which a suture is used to close the cervix in a pregnant woman; is performed when the cervix has failed to retain previous pregnancies)

sex-change operation; transsexual surgery (surgical procedures and hormonal treatments designed to alter a person's sexual characteristics so that the resemble those of the opposite sex)

rhizotomy (surgical procedure in which spinal nerve roots are cut; done (anterior roots) to relieve intractable pain or (posterior roots) to stop severe muscle spasms)

rhinotomy (surgical procedure in which an incision is made in the nose to drain accumulated pus)

resection (surgical removal of part of a structure or organ)

jejunostomy (surgical creation of an opening between the jejunum and the anterior abdominal wall; will allow artificial feeding)

intestinal bypass (surgical operation that shortens the small intestine; used in treating obesity)

iridotomy (a surgical procedure that makes an incision in the iris of the eye in order to enlarge the pupil or to treat glaucoma)

decortication (removal of the outer covering of an organ or part)

debridement (surgical removal of foreign material and dead tissue from a wound in order to prevent infection and promote healing)

curettage; curettement (surgery to remove tissue or growths from a bodily cavity (as the uterus) by scraping with a curette)

cryosurgery (the use of extreme cold (usually liquid nitrogen) to destroy unwanted tissue (warts or cataracts or skin cancers))

craniotomy (a surgical opening through the skull)

chemosurgery (use of chemical to destroy diseased or malignant tissue; used in treatment of skin cancer)

cauterisation; cauterization; cautery (the act of coagulating blood and destroying tissue with a hot iron or caustic agent or by freezing)

castration (surgical removal of the testes or ovaries (usually to inhibit hormone secretion in cases of breast cancer in women or prostate cancer in men))

brain surgery (any surgical procedure involving the brain)

arthroscopy (a minimally invasive operation to repair a damaged joint; the surgeon examines the joint with an arthroscope while making repairs through a small incision)

arthroplasty (surgical reconstruction or replacement of a malformed or degenerated joint)

angioplasty (an operation to repair a damaged blood vessel or unblock a coronary artery)

amputation (a surgical removal of all or part of a limb)

ablation; cutting out; excision; extirpation (surgical removal of a body part or tissue)

D and C; dilatation and curettage; dilation and curettage (a surgical procedure usually performed under local anesthesia in which the cervix is dilated and the endometrial lining of the uterus is scraped with a curet; performed to obtain tissue samples or to stop prolonged bleeding or to remove small tumors or to remove fragments of placenta after childbirth or as a method of abortion)

electrosurgery (surgery performed with electrical devices (as in electrocautery))

iridectomy (surgical removal of part of the iris of the eye)

implantation (a surgical procedure that places something in the human body)

hysterotomy (surgical incision into the uterus (as in cesarean section))

haemorrhoidectomy; hemorrhoidectomy (surgical procedure for tying hemorrhoids and excising them)

heart surgery (any surgical procedure involving the heart)

gastrostomy (surgical creation of an opening through the abdominal wall into the stomach (as for gastrogavage))

gastroenterostomy (surgical creation of an opening between the stomach wall and the small intestines; performed when the normal opening has been eliminated)

gastrectomy (surgical removal of all or part of the stomach)

fenestration (surgical procedure that creates a new fenestra to the cochlea in order to restore hearing lost because of osteosclerosis)

exenteration (surgical removal of the organs within a body cavity (as those of the pelvis))

evisceration (surgical removal of an organ (or the contents of an organ) from a patient)

wrong-site surgery (a surgical operation performed on the wrong part of the body)

enucleation (surgical removal of something without cutting into it)

enterostomy; enterotomy (surgical operation that creates a permanent opening through the abdominal wall into the intestine)

catheterisation; catheterization (the operation of introducing a catheter into the body)

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"Without suffering, there is no learning." (Croatian proverb)

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