from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The practice of drilling a hole in the skull as a physical, mental, or spiritual treatment.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The operation of trepanning; the process of perforating the skull with the trepan or trephine, or by other means.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The practice, also known as trepanation or trepanning, has been carried out since ancient times and has been thought to cure all sorts of conditions we would now know as mental or neurological disorders - such as epilepsy or psychosis.

    Mind Hacks: Trephination set on EBay

  • The neo-con practice of making a hole in the skull, known as trepanation, has been around since the Stone Age.

    Think Progress » Bush approval drops.

  • From the Skeptic's Dictionary entry on "trepanation": Trepanation is the process of cutting a hole in the skull.

    Greg Saunders: A Hole In The Head

  • But such are the times we live in that without rising from your chair, you can find the inevitable on the Web: Yes, there are those today who call for a return to trepanation.

    Virginia Historical Society's odd gems offer uncommon insights into the past

  • He becomes slowly convinced that his bizarre condition could be tied directly to the “Henry” case †and that the key may lie in the ancient, mystical practice of trepanation.

    DC Comics for February 2010 | Major Spoilers - Comic Book Reviews and News

  • It may die, but it wouldn't be outside the scope of their previous work if its death was so harrowing it made you want to resort to self-trepanation to remove the memory from your brain.

    Poll Results!

  • Moskalenko studied 15 people who had undergone (trepanation) following head injuries.

    Boing Boing

  • This, he says, shows that trepanation could be an effective treatment for Alzheimer's, and he even goes so far as to suggest that it might provide a "significant" improvement in the mental functions of anyone from their mid-40s, when cranial compliance starts to decline.

    Boing Boing

  • For example, trepanation, or the practice of drilling holes in a patient's head to alleviate illness, has not yet made a comeback.

    Gene Stone: The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick

  • Wired has a gallery of exhibit photos ranging from a skull that belonged to a trepanation patient to early x-ray machines.

    International Museum of Surgical Science


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  • Trepanation

    September 18, 2012