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

  • n. The back part of the head or skull.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The back part of the head or skull (contradistinct from sinciput).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The back, or posterior, part of the head or skull; the region of the occipital bone.
  • n. A plate which forms the back part of the head of insects.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In man, the hinder part of the head, or that part of the skull which forms the hind part of the head; the hindhead; the posterior part of the calvarium, from the middle of the vertex to the foramen magnum: opposed to sinciput.
  • n. In other vertebrates, a corresponding but varying part of the head or skull: as, in most mammals, only that part corresponding to the supraoccipital bone itself, or from the occipital protuberance to the foramen magnum.
  • n. In descriptive ornith., a frequent term for the part of the head which slopes up from nucha to vertex. See diagram under bird.
  • n. In herpetology, the generally flat back part of the top of the head, as where, in a snake for example, the occipital plates are situated.
  • n. In entomology, that part of the head behind the epicranium, belonging to the labial or second maxillary segment, and articulating with the thorax.

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

  • n. back part of the head or skull


Middle English, from Latin occiput, occipit- : ob-, against; see ob- + caput, head; see kaput- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin occiput, occipitium ("the back part of the head"), from ob ("over against") + caput ("head"). Compare sinciput. (Wiktionary)


  • ‘occiput’, and the part intervening between the sinciput and the occiput is the ‘crown’.

    The History of Animals

  • In three years, I relearned how to walk, stand and sit and discovered the location of my scapulae , ischia and occiput.

    The Serious Art of Gentle Exercise

  • I take that to mean books that pithed me straight through the occiput when I read them and changed the way I saw the world and my place in it, books that imprinted themselves so indelibly on my heart and mind that I don't have to have them in my hand to re-read them, I just need to shut my eyes and watch them unscroll in my imagination.

    Fifteen books that given the way my life has turned out I probably shouldn't have read

  • It hurt a little to look at her; he wanted to kiss the underside of her arm, her ear, her occiput, but he knew it mustn't happen.

  • It had entered just above and slightly forward of her right ear, but stopped short of midline; instead it went down and back toward the occiput.

    In the Still of the Night

  • However, some babies assume an occiput posterior position head down, with the back of the head against your back, which often results in a longer, more painful labor.

    The Official Lamaze® Guide

  • The best birth position for your baby is occiput anterior head down, with the back of the head against your belly.

    The Official Lamaze® Guide

  • Shaffer et al., “Manual rotation of the fetal occiput: Predictors of success and delivery,” Obstet Gynecol 194 2006: e7-9; C.

    Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn

  • Le Ray et al., “Manual rotation in occiput posterior or transverse positions: risk factors and consequences on the cesarean delivery rate,” Obstet Gynecol 110(4) (2007): 873-79; O.

    Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn

  • During this phase, your baby descends into your birth canal and likely completes rotation to the occiput anterior position see page 285.

    Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn


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