• synonyms


See more synonyms for anencephaly on Thesaurus.com
noun Medicine/Medical.
  1. congenital absence of part or all of the brain.
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Also an·en·ce·pha·lia [an-en-suh-feyl-yuh, an-en-] /ˌæn ɛn səˈfeɪl yə, ænˌɛn-/.

Origin of anencephaly

From New Latin, dating back to 1825–35; see origin at an-1, encephal-, -y3
Related formsan·en·ce·phal·ic [an-en-suh-fal-ik, an-en-] /ˌæn ɛn səˈfæl ɪk, ænˌɛn-/, an·en·ceph·a·lous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

mindless, dumb, foolish, imbecile, senseless, silly, stupid, thoughtless, witless, anencephalic, anencephalous

Examples from the Web for anencephalic

Historical Examples

  • Her own child was anencephalic and acranial, with entire absence of vault of skull.

    Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 5 (of 6)

    Havelock Ellis

British Dictionary definitions for anencephalic


  1. born with no or only a partial brain
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Derived Formsanencephaly (ˌænɛnˈsɛfəlɪ), noun

Word Origin

an- + encephalic
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 anencephalic


"having no brain" (biology), 1839, from Greek anenkephalos, from privative prefix an- (see an- (1)) + enkephalos "brain" (see encephalitis) + -ic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

anencephalic in Medicine


  1. Congenital absence of most of the brain and spinal cord.
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Related formsan′en•ce•phalic (-sə-fălĭk) null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.