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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Dong was hospitalized at CCMC for six weeks after undergoing surgery to correct the AVM, including a craniotomy to remove part of his skull. Pam Mcloughlin, Hartford Courant, 28 Sep. 2022 The more recent development, after a third craniotomy, is seizures. CBS News, 20 Sep. 2022 Modern surgeons sometimes use a similar procedure, called a craniotomy, to relieve pressure from bleeding under the membrane that surrounds the brain. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 13 Apr. 2022 Her left frontal craniotomy was booked for July 7, 2021. Stephanie Emma Pfeffer,, 4 Nov. 2021 The team implanted the system in a rat, performing a craniotomy to place 48 of the neurograins on the cerebral cortex—the outer layer of the brain—arranging the microchips to cover most of the motor and sensory areas. Emily Mullin, Wired, 13 Sep. 2021 Taken in that light, a craniotomy can be a relaxing experience, rather than one of abject terror. Michelle Weber, Longreads, 10 Aug. 2020 On July 16, surgeons performed a craniotomy on McClellan. Karen Pearlman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Aug. 2020 Since the pandemic began, Henry Ford doctors still were able to perform a heart transplant, two liver transplants and several craniotomies. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, 22 May 2020 See More

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

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 26 Nov. 2022.

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 mother R. E. Frisch
: surgical opening of the skull
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.