I am looking for words that convey the following meaning.

Deconstructing a system in a detailed and organized manner (it's not a destruction) in order to understand its internals (how it works) and then being able to reconstruct it.

  • Well, there's "disassembly".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 23:03

4 Answers 4


Depending on the composition of what you're deconstructing you might consider either:


the action of cutting something open, especially a dead body or plant, in order to study its structure

or breakdown

a division of something into smaller parts:

Dissection is usually used in an organic context, while breakdown might apply more to an engineering system or component.


Dissection and breakdown are good choices. I thought of dismantle.


I’m going to suggest decomposition. This suggests a deconstruction faithful to the means by which the thing is constructed, or composed.


What’s wrong with deconstruction?


This is a standard term.

There’s also reverse engineer.

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