cra·​ni·​ot·​o·​my ˌkrā-nē-ˈä-tə-mē How to pronounce craniotomy (audio)
plural craniotomies
: surgical opening of the skull

Examples of craniotomy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In October 2019, Mx. Collins, now 39, had craniotomy surgery to remove a malignant lesion. Alix Strauss, New York Times, 20 Apr. 2024 To place the 25 chips in Bussard’s brain, surgeons performed a routine craniotomy to remove a piece of his skull. Emily Mullin, WIRED, 15 Apr. 2024 Austin suffered a skull fracture, subdural hematoma, massive strokes and received an emergency craniotomy, according to a GoFundMe created for his family. Corin Cesaric, Peoplemag, 8 Mar. 2024 The Smiths moved her into their bed following the first craniotomy so she could be properly propped up. The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Sep. 2023 This technique requires arrays that cover relatively large areas, necessitating removal of at least an equal area of skull in a procedure known as a craniotomy. Simon Makin, Scientific American, 1 Sep. 2023 Called craniotomy, this skull-cutting technique is still used today during brain surgery to treat neurological diseases, injuries, tumors, and blood clots. Amy Barth, Discover Magazine, 26 Apr. 2010 Smith and Elizabeth were shocked when doctors returned and revealed that Sloane had a brain tumor and required an emergency craniotomy — the surgical removal of part of the bone from the skull to expose the brain per Johns Hopkins. Angela Andaloro, Peoplemag, 6 Sep. 2023 Doctors discovered a brain tumor and rushed Sloane in for an emergency craniotomy to remove it. The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Sep. 2023

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

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1855, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of craniotomy was in 1855

Dictionary Entries Near craniotomy

Cite this Entry

“Craniotomy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


cra·​ni·​ot·​o·​my ˌkrā-nē-ˈät-ə-mē How to pronounce craniotomy (audio)
plural craniotomies
: the operation of cutting or crushing the fetal head to effect delivery
fetal craniotomies … performed to save the life of the motherR. E. Frisch
: surgical opening of the skull
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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