- a psychological theory or analytical method based on the belief that certain mental faculties and character traits are indicated by the configurations of the skull.
Origin of phrenology
Examples from the Web for phrenologist
This puzzled him, as he did not know she was a phrenologist.Highways & Byways in Sussex
A phrenologist would have delighted in the study of that remarkable head.The Petticoat Commando
A phrenologist, who examined my head when I was a boy, said the two sides were unlike.Over the Teacups
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Among the people they met in the autumn of 1844 was Professor Fowler, the phrenologist.Julia Ward Howe
Laura E. Richards
My mother said it was inside and that the phrenologist meant I must be a good boy.Confessions of Boyhood
- (formerly) the branch of science concerned with localization of function in the human brain, esp determination of the strength of the faculties by the shape and size of the skull overlying the parts of the brain thought to be responsible for them
Word Origin and History for phrenologist
1815, literally "mental science," from phreno- + -logy "study of." Applied to the theory of mental faculties originated by Gall and Spurzheim that led to the 1840s mania for reading personality clues in the shape of one's skull and the "bumps" of the head. Related: Phrenological; phrenologist.
- The study of the shape and protuberances of the skull, based on the now discredited belief that they reveal character and mental capacity.