cerebral

adjective
ce·​re·​bral | \ sə-ˈrē-brəl How to pronounce cerebral (audio) , ˈser-ə- How to pronounce cerebral (audio) , ˈse-rə- \

Definition of cerebral

1a : of or relating to the brain or the intellect
b : of, relating to, affecting, or being the cerebrum cerebral edema cerebral arteries
2a : appealing to intellectual appreciation cerebral drama
b : primarily intellectual in nature a cerebral society books for cerebral readers

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Other Words from cerebral

cerebrally \ sə-​ˈrē-​brə-​lē How to pronounce cerebral (audio) , ˈser-​ə-​ , ˈse-​rə-​ \ adverb

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."

Examples of cerebral in a Sentence

He's a very cerebral comedian. a very cerebral jurist who has given much thought to what makes our nation's constitution work
Recent Examples on the Web Gilgamesh and Herodotus were among the cerebral choices that made the cut, among an eclectic crowd of others. Washington Post, 27 May 2021 Our father was on his way to present at an international conference on cerebral blood flow and metabolism in Tokyo when he was killed. Jonathon Berlin, sun-sentinel.com, 21 May 2021 Former teammates describe Mastroeni as a cerebral man whose passion for soccer beams out of him. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 21 May 2021 Our father was on his way to present at an international conference on cerebral blood flow and metabolism in Tokyo when he was killed. Jonathon Berlin, orlandosentinel.com, 14 May 2021 Our father was on his way to present at an international conference on cerebral blood flow and metabolism in Tokyo when he was killed. Jonathon Berlin, chicagotribune.com, 14 May 2021 Our father was on his way to present at an international conference on cerebral blood flow and metabolism in Tokyo when he was killed. Jonathon Berlin, baltimoresun.com, 14 May 2021 Bang Si-hyuk, the cerebral, intense-yet-avuncular mogul-producer who founded BTS’ record company, Big Hit Entertainment (now HYBE), signed RM first, in 2010, and gradually formed BTS around the rapper’s talent and magnetism. Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, 13 May 2021 Why not take that blissful, conflict-free thing, turn it into a cerebral project, and ruin it for yourself? E. Alex Jung, Vulture, 12 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cerebral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cerebral

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for 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

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Time Traveler for cerebral

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The first known use of cerebral was in 1801

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Last Updated

4 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cerebral.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cerebral. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for cerebral

cerebral

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of cerebral

medical : of or relating to the brain
: related to the mind rather than to feelings : intellectual and not emotional

cerebral

adjective
ce·​re·​bral | \ sə-ˈrē-brəl How to pronounce cerebral (audio) , ˈser-ə-brəl \

Kids Definition of cerebral

1 : of or relating to the brain or mind
2 : of, relating to, or affecting the cerebrum

cerebral

adjective
ce·​re·​bral | \ sə-ˈrē-brəl How to pronounce cerebral (audio) , ˈser-ə- How to pronounce cerebral (audio) \

Medical Definition of cerebral

1 : of or relating to the brain or the intellect
2 : of, relating to, affecting, or being the cerebrum cerebral blood flow cerebral toxoplasmosis

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