• synonyms


[krey-nee-uh l]
  1. of or relating to the cranium or skull.
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Origin of cranial

First recorded in 1790–1800; crani(um) + -al1
Related formscra·ni·al·ly, adverbin·ter·cra·ni·al, adjectivepre·cra·ni·al, adjectivepre·cra·ni·al·ly, adverbsub·cra·ni·al, adjectivesub·cra·ni·al·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cranial

Historical Examples

  • Their brain, as shown by the cranial cavity, was still smaller.

    The Sexual Question

    August Forel

  • I even removed the cranial cap and examined the brain microscopically.

    The Long Voyage

    Carl Richard Jacobi

  • On the cranial and facial characters of the Neandertal Race.

  • The principal characters are cranial, and the same as those of the genus.

    Extinct Birds

    Walter Rothschild

  • They were familiar, too, with Auntie's grievance about the cranial peculiarity of William.


    George Madden Martin

British Dictionary definitions for cranial


  1. of or relating to the skull
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Derived Formscranially, 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

Word Origin and History for cranial


1800, from Modern Latin cranium, from Greek kranion "skull" (see cranium) + -al (1).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cranial in Medicine


  1. Of or relating to the skull or cranium.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

cranial in Science


  1. Located in or involving the skull or cranium.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.