the bony framework of the head, enclosing the brain and supporting the face; the skeleton of the head.
the head as the center of knowledge and understanding; mind: to get literature's great ideas through our skulls.
Armor. the part of a helmet that covers the top of the head.


    out of one's skull, Slang. crazy; demented.

Origin of skull

1175–1225; Middle English scolle < Old Norse skalli
Related formsskull-less, adjectiveskull-like, adjective
Can be confusedscull skull Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for skull

Contemporary Examples of skull

Historical Examples of skull

  • The braincase of the skull is crushed in three places as though by a raptor's beak.

    American Weasels

    E. Raymond Hall

  • The falling keystone crushed his skull in, and the genius of the place was thus avenged.

    The Ingoldsby Country

    Charles G. (Charles George) Harper

  • Never mind having crushed my skull, as I really wanted a chance to give a good turn to the local doctor.

  • The outline of Tso-mavang is like that of a skull seen from the front, and we had now to explore the very top.

  • Wrap the skull muscles on with excelsior rolled in palms of hands.


    Leon Luther Pray

British Dictionary definitions for skull



the bony skeleton of the head of vertebratesSee cranium Related adjective: cranial
often derogatory the head regarded as the mind or intelligenceto have a dense skull
a picture of a skull used to represent death or danger

Word Origin for skull

C13: of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse skoltr, Norwegian skult, Swedish dialect skulle
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 skull

"bony framework of the head," c.1200, probably from Old Norse skalli "a bald head, skull," a general Scandinavian word (cf. Swedish skulle, Norwegian skult), probably related to Old English scealu "husk" (see shell (n.)). But early prominence in southwestern texts suggests rather origin from a Dutch or Low German cognate (e.g. Dutch schol "turf, piece of ice," but the sense of "head bone framework" is wanting). Derivation from Old French escuelle seems unlikely on grounds of sound and sense. Old English words for skull include heafod-bolla.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for skull




The bony or cartilaginous framework of the head, made up of the bones of the braincase and face; cranium.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for skull



The part of the skeleton that forms the framework of the head, consisting of the bones of the cranium, which protect the brain, and the bones of the face. See more at skeleton.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.