[krey-nee-uh l]


of or relating to the cranium or skull.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cranial

Historical Examples of cranial

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

  • 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



of or relating to the skull
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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cranial in Medicine




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

cranial in Science



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