from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The skull of a vertebrate.
  • n. The portion of the skull enclosing the brain; the braincase.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The skull of a vertebrate.
  • n. That part of the skull enclosing the brain, the braincase.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The skull of an animal; especially, that part of the skull, either cartilaginous or bony, which immediately incloses the brain; the brain case or brainpan. See skull.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The skull of a human being, or, as now-used, of any animal; the bones of the head, collectively.
  • n. More exactly, the brain-box; the bony case of the encephalon, as distinguished from those bones of the skull which support the face and jaws. See cranial.
  • n. In entomology, the integument of an insect's head excluding the antennæ, eyes, and oral apparatus, and including the epicranium, gula, and occiput.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the part of the skull that encloses the brain


Middle English craneum, from Medieval Latin crānium, from Greek krānion; see ker-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin crānium ("skull"), from Ancient Greek κρανίον (kranion, "skull"). (Wiktionary)



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