[ trih-fahyn, -feen ]
/ trɪˈfaɪn, -ˈfin /


a small circular saw with a center pin mounted on a strong hollow metal shaft to which is attached a transverse handle: used in surgery to remove circular disks of bone from the skull.

verb (used with object), tre·phined, tre·phin·ing.

to operate upon with a trephine.


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Origin of trephine

1620–30; spelling variant of trefine, orig. trafine, blend of trapan (variant of trepan1) and Latin phrase trēs fīnēs three ends (the inventor's explanation)


treph·i·na·tion [tref-uh-ney-shuh n] /ˌtrɛf əˈneɪ ʃən/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for trephination

/ (trɪˈfiːn) /


a surgical sawlike instrument for removing circular sections of bone, esp from the skull


(tr) to remove a circular section of bone from (esp the skull)
Also called: trepan

Derived forms of trephine

trephination (ˌtrɛfɪˈneɪʃən), noun

Word Origin for trephine

C17: from French tréphine, from obsolete English trefine trepan 1, allegedly from Latin trēs fīnēs literally: three ends; influenced also by English trepane trepan 1
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

Medical definitions for trephination (1 of 2)

[ trĕf′ə-nāshən ]


Removal of a circular piece of bone, especially of the skull, by a trephine.trepanation

Medical definitions for trephination (2 of 2)

[ trĭ-fīn ]


A cylindrical or crown saw for the removal of a disk of bone, especially from the skull, or removal of other firm tissue such as that of the cornea.


To operate on with a trephine.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.