autotomy

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From auto- +‎ -tomy, after German Autotomie or French autotomie.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

autotomy (countable and uncountable, plural autotomies)

  1. (chiefly zoology) The spontaneous removal of a limb, tail etc, especially by some invertebrates as a self-defense mechanism.
    • 1990, Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae:
      She has dropped it by autotomy, like the tail or claw of a fleeing lizard, lobster, or starfish.

Hyponyms[edit]

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