• synonyms


noun, plural cra·ni·ot·o·mies. Surgery.
  1. the operation of opening the skull, usually for operations on the brain.
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Origin of craniotomy

First recorded in 1850–55; cranio- + -tomy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for craniotomy

Historical Examples of craniotomy

  • The extrauterine foetus is not like a foetus in a craniotomy case.

    Essays In Pastoral Medicine

    Austin Malley

  • Even if the child is not dying, some obstetricians will do craniotomy.

  • One man can do craniotomy, but it requires three to perform the caesarean section.

  • Craniotomy is a direct killing, and a direct killing used as a means to an end; moreover it is an altogether unnecessary killing.

  • If the head sticks, caesarean section is done in favourable circumstances, and craniotomy in unfavourable circumstances.

British Dictionary definitions for craniotomy


noun plural -mies
  1. any surgical incision into the skull, esp to expose the brain for neurosurgery
  2. the surgical crushing of a fetal skull to extract a dead fetus
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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 craniotomy


1855, from cranio- + -tomy.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

craniotomy in Medicine


  1. Incision into the skull.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

craniotomy in Science


  1. Surgical incision into the skull.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.