lo·​bot·​o·​my | \ lō-ˈbä-tə-mē How to pronounce lobotomy (audio) \
plural lobotomies

Definition of lobotomy

: surgical severance of nerve fibers connecting the frontal lobes to the thalamus that has been performed especially formerly chiefly to treat mental illness

Examples of lobotomy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web No aristocratic title is worth a voluntary lobotomy. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "Meghan Markle Won’t Be Silenced," 8 Mar. 2021 Occasionally, Richards said, one of them winds up getting a lobotomy and the voices don’t work anymore. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Mentor couple’s home a haven for creative bottle-openers craft (photos)," 1 Mar. 2021 One such experiment is the lobotomy, as the new trailer suggests. Lauren Huff, EW.com, "Sarah Paulson is a lobotomy-loving nurse in final trailer for Netflix's Ratched," 8 Sep. 2020 Named after England’s notorious asylum, the film outlines a history of medical misfires, starting with lobotomies in the early 1900s, underfunded community centers in the ’50s and ’60s, and the lapse to prisons through the ’80s and ’90s. Purbita Saha, Popular Science, "Meet the health care workers and patients on the front lines of another national crisis," 13 Apr. 2020 More Stories Fiennes is a fictional character somewhat inspired by Walter Jackson Freeman II, the real-life American doctor who participated in the notorious prefrontal lobotomy of Rosemary Kennedy. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Mountain Is a Strange and Alienating Satire," 28 July 2019 Conditions in state hospitals were frequently abhorrent: Patients rarely bathed and were subjected to lobotomies and electric-shock treatments. Jocelyn Wiener, SFChronicle.com, "Do California’s most severely mentally ill need more forced treatment?," 4 Jan. 2020 By 1949, when Moniz won the Nobel Prize for his procedure, 10,000 lobotomies had been performed in the United States. Tim Requarth, Longreads, "The Final Five Percent," 22 Oct. 2019 Bradley had suffered a severe head injury when his ship sank in the Pacific Ocean, and later had a partial lobotomy. Brendan Farrington, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida set to execute serial killer Gary Ray Bowles on Thursday," 20 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lobotomy.' 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 lobotomy

1936, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lobotomy

lobe + -o- + -tomy

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Time Traveler for lobotomy

Time Traveler

The first known use of lobotomy was in 1936

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Statistics for lobotomy

Last Updated

19 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lobotomy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lobotomy. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for lobotomy



English Language Learners Definition of lobotomy

medical : an operation in which part of the brain is cut in order to treat some mental disorders


lo·​bot·​o·​my | \ lō-ˈbät-ə-mē How to pronounce lobotomy (audio) \
plural lobotomies

Medical Definition of lobotomy

: surgical severance of nerve fibers connecting the frontal lobes to the thalamus that has been performed especially formerly chiefly to treat mental illness

called also leukotomy

— compare lobectomy

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More from Merriam-Webster on lobotomy

Nglish: Translation of lobotomy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lobotomy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lobotomy

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