Dictionary.com

-cephaly

Save This Word!

a combining form of nouns that correspond to adjectives ending in -cephalic or -cephalous: dolichocephaly.
QUIZ
SPRINT TO THE FINISH WITH THIS OLYMPICS QUIZ!
Compete in our Olympics quiz to see if you can take home the gold medal in Olympics knowledge.
Question 1 of 10
Where was the Olympics first held?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

WORDS THAT USE -CEPHALY

What does -cephaly mean?

The combining form -cephaly is used like a suffix meaning “the state of having a head or heads.” It is often used in medical and scientific terms.

To get more technical, -cephaly is used to create noun forms of adjectives ending in -cephalic or -cephalous. Discover how those forms are used in our Words That Use articles for them.

The form -cephaly comes from the Greek kephalḗ, meaning “head.”

Corresponding forms of -cephaly,cephalic, and -cephalous combined to the beginning of words are cephalo- and cephal-, which you can learn more about in our Words That Use articles for each form.

Also deriving from kephalḗ are the combining forms encephalo- and encephal-, meaning “brain.”

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use encephalo- and encephal- articles.

Examples of -cephaly

One medical term that features -cephaly is pachycephaly, meaning “abnormal thickness of the skull.”

The first half of the word, pachy, means “thick.” The second part of the word, -cephaly, means “head.” Putting it all back together, pachycephaly has the literal sense of “thick-headedness.”

What are some words that use the combining form –cephaly?

Break it down!

The combining form brachy- means “short.” With this in mind, what is an everyday way of referring to the medical condition of brachycephaly?

Medical definitions for -cephaly

-cephaly

suff.
A specified condition affecting the head:microcephaly.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
FEEDBACK