Definition of trephine in English:

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Pronunciation: /trɪˈfʌɪn/
Pronunciation: /trɪˈfiːn/


A hole saw used in surgery to remove a circle of tissue or bone.
Example sentences
  • The bone marrow aspirate was similar to the trephine, with 15% of blasts showing monocytoid differentiation together with an absolute monocytosis and mild dyserythropoiesis.
  • An instrument that acts like a cookie cutter, called a trephine, cuts a precise circular shape.
  • In 2 cases, a bone marrow trephine biopsy was also available for examination.


[with object]
Operate on with a trephine.
Example sentences
  • The invention relates to a method and apparatus for trephining corneal tissue in preparation for keratoplasty.



Pronunciation: /ˌtrɛfɪˈneɪʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • However - remarkably and inexplicably - the earliest major surgery of which we have undoubted evidence is trephination of the skull, which dates back to at least 5000 BC in the Stone Age period.
  • He excelled in both, as a professor of surgery at the Bicetre in Paris and as a noted anthropologist dealing with a plethora of subjects, including the Cro-Magnon man and Neolithic trephination.
  • Reports of trepanation (or trephination) have been spotty throughout history, but there is little doubt of its existence dating back to Neolithic times.


Early 17th century: from Latin tres fines 'three ends', apparently influenced by trepan.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tre|phine

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