craniology

noun

cra·​ni·​ol·​o·​gy ˌkrā-nē-ˈä-lə-jē How to pronounce craniology (audio)
: the comparative study of the size, shape, and proportions of skulls

Note: Formerly, and especially from the 19th to mid-20th century, craniology was often linked to the notion that differences in human skull sizes were correlated with differences in intelligence, and was used to support the erroneous belief in the superiority or inferiority of different racial groups.

Word History

Etymology

probably from German Kraniologie, from kranio- crani- + -logie -logy

First Known Use

1863, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of craniology was in 1863

Dictionary Entries Near craniology

Cite this Entry

“Craniology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/craniology. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

craniology

noun
cra·​ni·​ol·​o·​gy ˌkrā-nē-ˈäl-ə-jē How to pronounce craniology (audio)
plural craniologies
: the comparative study of the size, shape, and proportions of skulls

Note: Formerly, and especially from the 19th to mid-20th century, craniology was often linked to the notion that differences in human skull sizes were correlated with differences in intelligence, and was used to support the erroneous belief in the superiority or inferiority of different racial groups.

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