adjective Cephalometry, Pathology.

having a head with a small braincase.

Also mi·cro·ceph·a·lous [mahy-kroh-sef-uh-luh s] /ˌmaɪ kroʊˈsɛf ə ləs/.

Origin of microcephalic

From the New Latin word microcephalicus, dating back to 1855–60. See micro-, cephalic
Related formsmi·cro·ceph·a·ly, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for microcephaly

Historical Examples of microcephaly

  • Lombroso attributes a series of cases of microcephaly to profound mental impressions occurring during pregnancy.


    Eugene S. Talbot

  • Microcephaly on the contrary shows inferiority of form (smallness, receding forehead, etc.), but not malformation.

    Pedagogical Anthropology

    Maria Montessori

  • Pathological terminology includes the following nomenclature: macrocephaly, sub-macrocephaly, submicrocephaly, microcephaly.

    Pedagogical Anthropology

    Maria Montessori

  • If, on the other hand, the maximum circumference is notably smaller, we are entering upon the anomaly of microcephaly.

    Pedagogical Anthropology

    Maria Montessori

  • Some just show radiation abnormalities—giantism, microcephaly, and the like.

British Dictionary definitions for microcephaly



the condition of having an abnormally small head or cranial capacityCompare megacephaly
Derived Formsmicrocephalic (ˌmaɪkrəʊsɪˈfælɪk), adjective, nounmicrocephalous, adjective
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 microcephaly



"small-headed," 1845, from French microcéphalique, from Modern Latin microcephalus, from Greek mikros "small" (see mica) + kephale "head" (see cephalo-). Related: Microcephalism; microcephalous (1840); microcephaly (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

microcephaly in Medicine




Abnormal smallness of the head.nanocephaly
Related formsmi′cro•ce•phalic (-sə-fălĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.