[ luh-bot-uh-mee, loh- ]
/ ləˈbɒt ə mi, loʊ- /

noun, plural lo·bot·o·mies. Surgery.

the operation of cutting into a lobe, as of the brain or the lung.

Nearby words

  1. lobolo,
  2. lobopodium,
  3. lobose,
  4. lobotomize,
  5. lobotomized,
  6. lobscouse,
  7. lobster,
  8. lobster moth,
  9. lobster newburg,
  10. lobster pot

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lobotomy

British Dictionary definitions for lobotomy


/ (ləʊˈbɒtəmɪ) /

noun plural -mies

a surgical incision into a lobe of any organ
Also called: prefrontal leucotomy a surgical interruption of one or more nerve tracts in the frontal lobe of the brain: used in the treatment of intractable mental disorders

Word Origin for lobotomy

C20: from lobe + -tomy

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 lobotomy



1936, coined from lobe (in the brain sense) + medical suffix -tomy. Figurative use is attested from 1953.

Now I guess I'll have to tell 'em
That I got no cerebellum
[Ramones, "Teenage Lobotomy," 1977]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for lobotomy


[ lə-bŏtə-mē, lō- ]


Incision into a lobe.
The division of one or more nerve tracts in a lobe of the cerebrum.

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

Science definitions for lobotomy


[ lə-bŏtə-mē ]

Surgical incision into the frontal lobe of the brain to sever one or more nerve tracts, a technique formerly used to treat certain psychiatric disorders but now rarely performed.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for lobotomy


[ (luh-bot-uh-mee, loh-bot-uh-mee) ]

A surgical incision into one or more of the nerve masses in the front of the brain. A lobotomy may be performed for the relief of certain mental disorders, although it has been largely abandoned in favor of less radical treatments.


Because people who have had a lobotomy often become quite passive after the operation, the term is often used to refer to someone who shows a lack of response or reaction: “She was so tired she just sat there as if she had been lobotomized.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.