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[krey-nee-uh l] /ˈkreɪ ni əl/
of or relating to the cranium or skull.
Origin of cranial
First recorded in 1790-1800; crani(um) + -al1
Related forms
cranially, adverb
intercranial, adjective
precranial, adjective
precranially, adverb
subcranial, adjective
subcranially, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cranial
Historical Examples
  • Their brain, as shown by the cranial cavity, was still smaller.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • I even removed the cranial cap and examined the brain microscopically.

    The Long Voyage Carl Richard Jacobi
  • On the cranial and facial characters of the Neandertal Race.

  • The principal characters are cranial, and the same as those of the genus.

    Extinct Birds Walter Rothschild
  • They were familiar, too, with Auntie's grievance about the cranial peculiarity of William.

    Selina George Madden Martin
  • An index of cranial development is afforded by the maximum circumference.

    Pedagogical Anthropology Maria Montessori
  • At the age of three, the ossification of the cranial vault has been completed.

    Pedagogical Anthropology Maria Montessori
  • The cranial cavity is of small size, and is never much elevated.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton Sidney H. Reynolds
  • The cranial cavity is large and rounded, and has thin smooth walls.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton Sidney H. Reynolds
  • Indeed, some show no approach to washingtoni in cranial characters.

    American Weasels E. Raymond Hall
British Dictionary definitions for cranial


of or relating to the skull
Derived Forms
cranially, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cranial

1800, from Modern Latin cranium, from Greek kranion "skull" (see cranium) + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cranial in Medicine

cranial cra·ni·al (krā'nē-əl)
Of or relating to the skull or cranium.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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cranial in Science
Located in or involving the skull or cranium.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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