• synonyms


[verb dee-ser-uh-breyt; noun dee-ser-uh-breyt, -brit]
verb (used with object), de·cer·e·brat·ed, de·cer·e·brat·ing.
  1. Surgery. to remove the cerebrum.
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  1. a decerebrated animal.
  2. a person who, because of brain injury, exhibits behavior characteristic of a decerebrated animal.
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Origin of decerebrate

First recorded in 1895–1900; de- + cerebr- + -ate1
Related formsde·cer·e·bra·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for decerebrate

Historical Examples

  • The first reflex is automatic, and so no doubt is the second, since the frog is decerebrate.

    Tics and Their Treatment

    Henry Meigne

  • The decerebrate animal's walk may be perfect in its co-ordination.

British Dictionary definitions for decerebrate


verb (diːˈsɛrɪˌbreɪt)
  1. (tr) to remove the brain or a large section of the brain or to cut the spinal cord at the level of the brain stem of (a person or animal)
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noun (diːˈsɛrɪbrɪt)
  1. a decerebrated individual
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Derived Formsdecerebration, noun

Word Origin

C19: from de- + cerebro- + -ate 1
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

decerebrate in Medicine


(dē-sĕrə-brāt′, -brĭt)
  1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of an individual who has suffered a brain injury that results in neurological function comparable to that resulting from decerebration of an animal.
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  1. To eliminate cerebral brain function in an animal by decerebration.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.