• synonyms


  1. a small, brimless close-fitting cap, often made of silk or velvet, worn on the crown of the head, as for religious functions.
  2. the domelike roof of the skull.
  3. Botany. any of various plants belonging to the genus Scutellaria, of the mint family, having a calyx resembling a helmet.
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Origin of skullcap

First recorded in 1675–85; skull + cap1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for skull-cap

Historical Examples of skull-cap

  • He removed his skull-cap as he approached, and said, "The Count Tasseroni, at your orders."

    The Fortunes Of Glencore

    Charles James Lever

  • And, now, if you will give me that pigtail, I will try to sew it to this skull-cap.

  • Charlie did so, but as he was without a skull-cap, his European forehead was most noticeable.

  • The rebbe exchanges his skull-cap for his street cap, is about to go.

  • Down with the skull-cap; the priests are the cause of our trouble!

British Dictionary definitions for skull-cap


  1. a rounded brimless hat fitting the crown of the head
  2. the nontechnical name for calvaria
  3. any of various perennial plants of the genus Scutellaria, esp S. galericulata, that typically have helmet-shaped flowers: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
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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-cap


1680s, from skull (n.) + cap (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

skull-cap in Medicine


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