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[luh-bot-uh-mee, loh-] /ləˈbɒt ə mi, loʊ-/
noun, plural lobotomies. Surgery.
the operation of cutting into a lobe, as of the brain or the lung. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for lobotomy


noun (pl) -mies
a surgical incision into a lobe of any organ
Also called prefrontal leucotomy. a surgical interruption of one or more nerve tracts in the frontal lobe of the brain: used in the treatment of intractable mental disorders
Word Origin
C20: from lobe + -tomy
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 lobotomy

1936, coined from lobe (in the brain sense) + medical suffix -tomy. Figurative use is attested from 1953.

Now I guess I'll have to tell 'em
That I got no cerebellum
[Ramones, "Teenage Lobotomy," 1977]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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lobotomy in Medicine

lobotomy lo·bot·o·my (lə-bŏt'ə-mē, lō-)

  1. Incision into a lobe.

  2. The division of one or more nerve tracts in a lobe of the cerebrum.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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lobotomy in Science
Surgical incision into the frontal lobe of the brain to sever one or more nerve tracts, a technique formerly used to treat certain psychiatric disorders but now rarely performed.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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lobotomy in Culture
lobotomy [(luh-bot-uh-mee, loh-bot-uh-mee)]

A surgical incision into one or more of the nerve masses in the front of the brain. A lobotomy may be performed for the relief of certain mental disorders, although it has been largely abandoned in favor of less radical treatments.

Note: Because people who have had a lobotomy often become quite passive after the operation, the term is often used to refer to someone who shows a lack of response or reaction: “She was so tired she just sat there as if she had been lobotomized.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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