[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.

Surgery. to remove the cerebrum.


a decerebrated animal.
a person who, because of brain injury, exhibits behavior characteristic of a decerebrated animal.

Nearby words

  1. deception bed,
  2. deception table,
  3. deceptive,
  4. deceptive cadence,
  5. deceptively,
  6. decerebration,
  7. decern,
  8. decertify,
  9. decession,
  10. dechlorinate

Origin of decerebrate

First recorded in 1895–1900; de- + cerebr- + -ate1

Related formsde·cer·e·bra·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for decerebration


verb (diːˈsɛrɪˌbreɪt)

(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)

noun (diːˈsɛrɪbrɪt)

a decerebrated individual
Derived Formsdecerebration, noun

Word Origin for decerebrate

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

Medicine definitions for decerebration




The elimination of cerebral function in an animal by removing the cerebrum, cutting across the brainstem, or severing certain arteries in the brainstem, as may be done for experimentation.


[dē-sĕrə-brāt′, -brĭt]


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.


To eliminate cerebral brain function in an animal by decerebration.

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