c. 1600, of material things, "to dissect, take to pieces," from French analyser, from the noun analyse "analysis" (see analysis). Of literature, "examine critically to get the essence of," from 1610s; the meaning in chemistry ("resolve a compound into elements") dates from 1660s. The general sense of "to examine closely" dates from 1809; the psychological sense is by 1909. Related: Analyzed; analyzing.
updated on September 20, 2022