[ suh-ree-bruhl, ser-uh- ]
See synonyms for cerebral on Thesaurus.com
  1. Anatomy, Zoology. of or relating to the cerebrum or the brain.

  2. betraying or characterized by the use of the intellect rather than intuition or instinct: His is a cerebral music that leaves many people cold.

  1. Phonetics. retroflex (def. 2).

  1. Phonetics. a cerebral sound.

Origin of cerebral

From the New Latin word cerebrālis, dating back to 1795–1805. See cerebrum, -al1

Other words from cerebral

  • ce·re·bral·ly, adverb
  • in·ter·cer·e·bral, adjective
  • non·cer·e·bral, adjective
  • o·ver·ce·re·bral, adjective
  • post·ce·re·bral, adjective
  • pre·ce·re·bral, adjective
  • sub·cer·e·bral, adjective
  • su·per·ce·re·bral, adjective
  • su·per·ce·re·bral·ly, adverb

Words Nearby cerebral

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use cerebral in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cerebral


/ (ˈsɛrɪbrəl, US səˈriːbrəl) /

  1. of or relating to the cerebrum or to the entire brain

  2. involving intelligence rather than emotions or instinct

  1. phonetics another word for cacuminal

  1. phonetics a consonant articulated in the manner of a cacuminal consonant

Derived forms of cerebral

  • cerebrally, adverb

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

Scientific definitions for cerebral


[ sĕrə-brəl, sə-rēbrəl ]

  1. Relating to or involving the brain or cerebrum.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for cerebral


[ (suh-ree-bruhl, ser-uh-bruhl) ]

A descriptive term for things pertaining to the brain or cerebrum.

Notes for cerebral

The term is also used figuratively to describe things that appeal to the intellect.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.