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adjective ce·re·bral \sə-ˈrē-brəl, ˈser-ə-, ˈse-rə-\

Simple Definition of cerebral

  • medical : of or relating to the brain

  • : related to the mind rather than to feelings : intellectual and not emotional

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of cerebral

  1. 1 a :  of or relating to the brain or the intellect b :  of, relating to, affecting, or being the cerebrum

  2. 2 a :  appealing to intellectual appreciation <cerebral drama> b :  primarily intellectual in nature <a cerebral society>

cerebrally play \-brə-lē\ adverb

Examples of cerebral in a sentence

  1. He's a very cerebral comedian.

  2. <a very cerebral jurist who has given much thought to what makes our nation's constitution work>

Did You Know?

English borrowed its word cerebrum directly from the Latin word for "brain," but the adjective cerebral took a slightly more circuitous route into our language, reaching English by way of French cerebral. Cerebrum has been used in our language as a name for the brain since the early 1600s, though the more specific scientific sense, referring just to the large upper part of the brain, didn't develop until later. Cerebral has been appearing in print in English since at least 1816. Other brainy descendants of cerebrum in English include cerebellum (the part of the brain between the brain stem and the back of the cerebrum) and cerebrate, which arrived in English in 1915 with the meaning "to use the mind" or "to think."

Origin of cerebral

French cérébral, from Latin cerebrum brain; akin to Old High German hirni brain, Greek kara head, keras horn, Sanskrit śiras head — more at horn

First Known Use: 1816

Rhymes with cerebral

CEREBRAL Defined for Kids


adjective ce·re·bral \sə-ˈrē-brəl, ˈser-ə-brəl\

Definition of cerebral for Students

  1. 1 :  of or relating to the brain or mind

  2. 2 :  of, relating to, or affecting the cerebrum

Medical Dictionary


play play
adjective ce·re·bral \sə-ˈrē-brəl, ˈser-ə-\

Medical Definition of cerebral

  1. 1:  of or relating to the brain or the intellect

  2. 2:  of, relating to, affecting, or being the cerebrum <cerebral blood flow> <cerebral toxoplasmosis>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cerebral? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a timid, meek, or unassertive person

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