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[trih-fahyn, -feen] /trɪˈfaɪn, -ˈfin/ Surgery
a small circular saw with a center pin mounted on a strong hollow metal shaft to which is attached a transverse handle: used in surgery to remove circular disks of bone from the skull.
verb (used with object), trephined, trephining.
to operate upon with a trephine.
Origin of trephine
1620-30; spelling variant of trefine, orig. trafine, blend of trapan (variant of trepan1) and Latin phrase trēs fīnēs three ends (the inventor's explanation)
Related forms
[tref-uh-ney-shuh n] /ˌtrɛf əˈneɪ ʃən/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for trephine


a surgical sawlike instrument for removing circular sections of bone, esp from the skull
(transitive) to remove a circular section of bone from (esp the skull)
Also called trepan
Derived Forms
trephination (ˌtrɛfɪˈneɪʃən) noun
Word Origin
C17: from French tréphine, from obsolete English trefinetrepan1, allegedly from Latin trēs fīnēs literally: three ends; influenced also by English trepanetrepan1
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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trephine in Medicine

trephine tre·phine (trĭ-fīn')
A cylindrical or crown saw for the removal of a disk of bone, especially from the skull, or removal of other firm tissue such as that of the cornea. v. tre·phined, tre·phin·ing, tre·phines
To operate on with a trephine.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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