"decomposition into constituent parts by an electric current," 1834; the name was introduced by Faraday on the suggestion of the Rev. William Whewell, English polymath, from electro- + Greek lysis "a loosening," from lyein "to loosen, set free" (from PIE root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart"). Originally of tumors, later (1879) of hair removal. Related: electrolytic.
In linguistics, of languages that use particles and auxiliaries (rather than inflections) to modify meaning and show relations of words, from 1830. Analytical chemistry resolves compounds into elements. Related: Analytically.
Meaning "statement presenting results of an analytic process" is from 1660s. Psychological sense is from 1890. English also formerly had a noun analyse (1630s), from French analyse, from Medieval Latin analysis. Phrase in the final (or last) analysis (1844), translates French en dernière analyse.