from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Present participle of trepan.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The operation of making, with a trepan, an opening in the skull for relieving the brain from compression or irritation.
  • n. The method of making trepanned brushes (which see, under trepan, verb).


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • This occasioned his going through the operation called trepanning, which is performed by an engine like a coffee-mill, which being fixed on the bruised part of the bone, is turned round, and cuts out all the black till the edges appear white and sound.

    Lives Of The Most Remarkable Criminals Who have been Condemned and Executed

  • Known as trepanning, it was an ancient procedure and a desperate one.

    The Trojan War

  • I made the diagnosis that a splinter of bone was pressing upon the brain, and that the surgical operation known as trepanning was required.

    Cabbages and Kings

  • This is known as trepanning and was used up till the middle ages for headache treatment, now only used in a more advanced way to treat epidural and subdural hematomas or other intracranial disease.


  • The trade of "trepanning" the unfortunates and transporting them and selling their term of service was not by several degrees as bad as the African slave-trade; but it was of the same sort, and the deadly horrors of its "middle passage" were hardly less.

    A History of American Christianity

  • But I wasn't sure quite what to make of it as I glanced up at a recent episode of the Beeb's children's show, Horrible Histories, with the sound off, only to glimpse a cuddly, laughing puppet rat appear at the bottom of the screen to spell out the word "trepanning".

    WalesOnline - Home

  • We can achieve that remarkable feat of thought transference without the pain, drilling, and bloodshed of trepanning.


  • None of them --- Franklin possibly excepted --- envisioned X-rays, CAT scans, heart and kidney transplants, chemotherapy, blood pressure medication, anti-depressants, or any form of successful brain surgery more advanced than trepanning.

    Lance Mannion:

  • Of course, you could argue that there's no need to worry, since advanced aliens, able to communicate across the vast voids of space, will be benevolent, enlightened beings for whom aggression is as archaic as using trepanning to treat a migraine.

    Seth Shostak: Don't Tell ET!

  • Have you not been sucking your laudanum, trepanning your skull with a Makita and smacking yourself in the head with a brick until you see the harrowing vision?

    Mark Morford: The Great BP Nuclear Stripper Terrorist Nun Oil Spill Conspiracy!


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  • "Thad had neither believed nor disbelieved this when reading it; it seemed as foreign to his own life as the worship of pagan idols or the practice of trepanning to relieve headaches. Now it seemed to have its own deadly logic."

    - 'The Dark Half', Stephen King.

    December 31, 2007