Definition of acephalous in English:


Line breaks: aceph¦al|ous
Pronunciation: /eɪˈsɛf(ə)ləs
, -ˈkɛf-/


  • 1Lacking a head: an acephalous skeleton
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    • Thus the design may sometimes appear acephalous and at other times polycephalous (Hydra-headed).
  • 2Having no leader or chief: an acephalous society
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    • 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.
  • 3 Prosody (Typically of a hexameter beginning with a short syllable) 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.

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tease (someone) playfully