[ey-sef-uh-luh s]
  1. Also a·ce·phal·ic [ey-suh-fal-ik] /ˌeɪ səˈfæl ɪk/. Zoology. headless; lacking a distinct head.
  2. without a leader or ruler.

Origin of acephalous

1725–35; < Greek aképhalos; see a-6, -cephalous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for acephalic


  1. having no head or one that is reduced and indistinct, as certain insect larvae
  2. having or recognizing no ruler or leader

Word Origin for acephalous

C18: via Medieval Latin from Greek akephalos. See a- 1, -cephalic
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

Word Origin and History for acephalic



"headless," 1731, from French acéphale + -ous, or directly from Late Latin acephalus, from Greek akephalos, from a- "not" + kephale "head" (see cephalo-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper