encephal-


variant of encephalo- before a vowel: encephalic.

QUIZZES

DISCOVER THE INFLUENCE OF PORTUGUESE ON ENGLISH VIA THIS QUIZ!

We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

WORDS THAT USE ENCEPHAL-

What does encephal- mean?

Encephal- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “brain.” It is often used in medical terms, especially in anatomy.

Encephal- comes from the Greek enképhalos, meaning “brain.” Literally, enképhalos means “in (en-) the head (kephalē).” Isn’t that where you find the brain?!

Encephal- is a variant of encephalo-, which loses its -o– when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels.

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use encephalo- article.

Examples of encephal-

A word you may be familiar with that uses the combining form encephal- is encephalalgia, the medical term for a “headache.”

We know that encephal- means “brain.” The combining form, -algia, from the Greek álgos, means “pain.” Encephalalgia literally translates to “brain pain.”

What are some words that use the combining form encephal-?

What are some other forms that encephalo- may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form -oma is used to name tumors. With this in mind, where in the body is an encephaloma found?