Share this entry
acephalous Syllabification: a·ceph·a·lous
Pronunciation: /āˈsefələs/

Definition of acephalous in English:


1No longer having a head: an acephalous skeleton
More example sentences
  • Thus the design may sometimes appear acephalous and at other times polycephalous (Hydra-headed).
1.1 Zoology Not having a head.
1.2Having no leader or chief: an acephalous society
More example sentences
  • During the late nineteenth century in societies ranging from the acephalous to interlacustrine kingdoms, senior men bolstered their authority through a monopoly of access to locally brewed beer.
  • The resistance is largely decentralised, localised and acephalous.
  • Sierra Leone was the object of similar plunder, leaving an acephalous state in rampant disorder only to be stabilised by British Tommies.
2 Prosody Lacking a syllable or syllables in the first foot.


Mid 18th century: via medieval Latin from Greek akephalos 'headless' (from a- 'without' + kephalē 'head') + -ous.

Definition of acephalous in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources