- 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.
- to operate upon with a trephine.
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)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for trephining
I have seen results of trephining by American surgeons which could not be bettered anywhere.Glaucoma
Throughout the three campaigns of the Sleswick-Holstein war, there was only one case of trephining which gave a favorable result.A Treatise on Gunshot Wounds
Accordingly a trephining was done, and these adhesions, real or supposed, were broken up.Psychotherapy
James J. Walsh
An abscess involving the turbinated bones is similar to the collection of pus in the sinuses and must be relieved by trephining.Special Report on Diseases of the Horse
United States Department of Agriculture
After trephining the symptom improved, but got worse again; when seen by us was having one daily.
- 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
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
- 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.