brachy·​ce·​phal·​ic ˌbra-ki-sə-ˈfa-lik How to pronounce brachycephalic (audio)
: short-headed or broad-headed with a cephalic index of over 80
brachycephaly noun

Examples of brachycephalic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While a typical Labrador retriever or border collie had a median life expectancy of just over 13 years, the researchers found that almost across the board, flat-faced, or brachycephalic, dogs fared worse by that measure. Amanda Schupak, CNN, 3 Feb. 2024 These issues can lead to chewing problems and infections in many brachycephalic breeds. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 15 Dec. 2023 Flat-faced or brachycephalic dogs continue to be a favorite despite their health problems. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 21 Sep. 2023 Aside from that, dogs that are more prone to overheating — like brachycephalic breeds, breeds with thick coats, and overweight or senior dogs can also benefit. Olivia Avitt, Peoplemag, 2 Aug. 2023 The second type that has a very difficult time are the flat-faced dogs, which are known as brachycephalic breeds. Olivia McCormack, Washington Post, 17 July 2023 On average, brachycephalic dogs were less healthy than non-brachycephalic dogs. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Dec. 2021 The smoke conditions can be especially dangerous for puppies and senior dogs, as well as for brachycephalic breeds — those with shorter snouts — such as pugs, Boston terriers and bulldogs, according to the American Kennel Club. Aliza Chasan, CBS News, 28 June 2023 Cooling Features: Bulldogs are susceptible to overheating due to their brachycephalic (short-nosed) structure. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 16 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'brachycephalic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin brachycephalus, from Greek brachy- + kephalē head — more at cephalic

First Known Use

circa 1852, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of brachycephalic was circa 1852

Dictionary Entries Near brachycephalic

Cite this Entry

“Brachycephalic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


brachy·​ce·​phal·​ic ˌbrak-i-sə-ˈfal-ik How to pronounce brachycephalic (audio)
: short-headed or broad-headed with a cephalic index of over 80
brachycephaly noun
plural brachycephalies
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!