Definition of cranium in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkrānēəm/

noun (plural craniums or crania /-nēə/)

The skull, especially the part enclosing the brain.
Example sentences
  • The eye is located within the orbital cavity of the skull between the cranium and the facial skeleton.
  • As the infection spreads in the temporal bone, it may extend into the cranium and result in cranial nerve palsies.
  • The bones of the cranium are divided into the skull base and the calvarial vault.
skull, head, brain case
informal noggin, brainpan


Late Middle English: via medieval Latin from Greek kranion 'skull'.

  • migraine from Late Middle English:

    People unfortunate enough to suffer from migraine know that this sort of throbbing headache usually affects one side of the head—reflected in the origin of the word. It is a highly shortened form of Greek hemi- ‘half’ and kranion ‘skull’, the source of English cranium (mid 16th century). Until the 20th century the form megrim, also used for a fit of being difficult, was more common than migraine.

Words that rhyme with cranium

geranium, germanium, Herculaneum, titanium, uranium

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cra·ni·um

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