Definition of trepan in English:


Line breaks: tre¦pan
Pronunciation: /trɪˈpan


1chiefly historical A trephine (hole saw) used by surgeons for perforating the skull.
More example sentences
  • And furthermore, he just sliced through the trepan.
2A borer for sinking shafts.

verb (trepans, trepanning, trepanned)

[with object] Back to top  
Perforate (a person’s skull) with a trepan.
More example sentences
  • They shaved his head and trepanned him to let the pressure out.
  • Early on, a young boy watches his physician father heal a patient with trepanning, drilling or cutting holes in the skull to remove pressure.
  • In the opening volleys at the battle of Germantown on 4 October 1777, St George was shot in the head, taken from the field and trepanned, leaving him with a large hole in the side of his skull.


late Middle English: the noun via medieval Latin from Greek trupanon, from trupan 'to bore', from trupē 'hole'; the verb from Old French trepaner.



Pronunciation: /ˌtrɛpəˈneɪʃ(ə)n/
More example sentences
  • Advocates of the bizarre procedure say trepanation improves blood flow around the brain and gives it an expansion window to adjust naturally to gravity, air pressure, headaches, and assorted mental strains.
  • It has a 45 mm by 30 mm hole in the top made by a gruesome procedure known as trepanation, where a portion of the bone was removed from a living and most likely conscious patient.
  • The ancient practice of trepanation involves drilling a hole into the skull of a living human being to relieve illness or release evil spirits.

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