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[mahy-kroh-suh-fal-ik] /ˌmaɪ kroʊ səˈfæl ɪk/
adjective, Cephalometry, Pathology.
having a head with a small braincase.
Also, microcephalous
[mahy-kroh-sef-uh-luh s] /ˌmaɪ kroʊˈsɛf ə ləs/ (Show IPA)
Origin of microcephalic
From the New Latin word microcephalicus, dating back to 1855-60. See micro-, cephalic
Related forms
microcephaly, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for microcephaly
Historical Examples
  • Lombroso attributes a series of cases of microcephaly to profound mental impressions occurring during pregnancy.

    Degeneracy Eugene S. Talbot
  • microcephaly on the contrary shows inferiority of form (smallness, receding forehead, etc.), but not malformation.

    Pedagogical Anthropology Maria Montessori
  • Pathological terminology includes the following nomenclature: macrocephaly, sub-macrocephaly, submicrocephaly, microcephaly.

    Pedagogical Anthropology Maria Montessori
  • If, on the other hand, the maximum circumference is notably smaller, we are entering upon the anomaly of microcephaly.

    Pedagogical Anthropology Maria Montessori
  • Some just show radiation abnormalities—giantism, microcephaly, and the like.

    The Status Civilization Robert Sheckley
British Dictionary definitions for microcephaly


the condition of having an abnormally small head or cranial capacity Compare megacephaly
Derived Forms
microcephalic (ˌmaɪkrəʊsɪˈfælɪk) adjective, noun
microcephalous, adjective
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 microcephaly



"small-headed," 1845, from French microcéphalique, from Modern Latin microcephalus, from Greek mikros "small" (see mica) + kephale "head" (see cephalo-). Related: Microcephalism; microcephalous (1840); microcephaly (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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microcephaly in Medicine

microcephaly mi·cro·ceph·a·ly (mī'krō-sěf'ə-lē)
Abnormal smallness of the head. Also called nanocephaly.

mi'cro·ce·phal'ic (-sə-fāl'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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