• synonyms


[en-sef-uh-lon, -luh n]
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noun, plural en·ceph·a·la [en-sef-uh-luh] /ɛnˈsɛf ə lə/.
  1. Anatomy. the brain.
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Origin of encephalon

1735–45; < New Latin, alteration (-on for -os) of Greek enképhalos (adj.) within the head, as masculine noun, brain; see en-2, -cephalous
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

head, intellect, wit, mentality, cerebellum, encephalon, cerebrum

Examples from the Web for encephalon

Historical Examples

  • Encephalon -um: the brain, or that part of the head containing it.

    Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology

    John. B. Smith

  • This is mainly an inference from the total weight of the encephalon.

    The Color Line

    William Benjamin Smith

  • The state of the encephalon in those patients in whom spurious hydrocephalus occurs is interesting.

  • Let me also add that the weight of the encephalon varies enormously according to individuals.

    The Races of Man

    Joseph Deniker

  • The lessening of the blood supply to the encephalon is rather the accompaniment than the cause of sleep.

British Dictionary definitions for encephalon


noun plural -la (-lə)
  1. a technical name for brain
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Derived Formsencephalous, adjective

Word Origin

C18: from New Latin, from Greek enkephalos brain (literally: that which is in the head), from en- ² + kephalē head
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

encephalon in Medicine


n. pl. en•ceph•a•la (-lə)
  1. brain
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Related formsen•cepha•lous adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.