[ fri-nol-uh-jee, fre- ]
/ frɪˈnɒl ə dʒi, frɛ- /


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

An Americanism dating back to 1795–1805; phreno- + -logy

Related forms

phren·o·log·ic [fren-l-oj-ik] /ˌfrɛn lˈɒdʒ ɪk/, phren·o·log·i·cal, adjectivephren·o·log·i·cal·ly, adverbphre·nol·o·gist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for phrenologist

British Dictionary definitions for phrenologist


/ (frɪˈnɒlədʒɪ) /


(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

Derived Forms

phrenological (ˌfrɛnəˈlɒdʒɪkəl), adjectivephrenologist, noun
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

Medicine definitions for phrenologist


[ frĭ-nŏlə-jē ]


The study of the shape and protuberances of the skull, based on the now discredited belief that they reveal character and mental capacity.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.