microcephaly

noun

mi·​cro·​ceph·​a·​ly ˌmī-krō-ˈse-fə-lē How to pronounce microcephaly (audio)
: a condition of abnormal smallness of the circumference of the head that is present at birth or develops within the first few years of life and is often associated with developmental delays, impaired cognitive development, poor coordination and balance, deficits in hearing and vision, and seizures

Examples of microcephaly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Possible association between Zika virus and microcephaly. Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 30 Dec. 2015 The emotional and psychological costs aside, the economic costs — anywhere from $1 million to $10 million over a lifetime for one case of microcephaly — are devastating. Robin Taylor Wilson, STAT, 5 Apr. 2020 Most infections resulted in nothing more than mild illnesses, but pregnant women who contracted the virus found themselves at greater risk of suffering miscarriages or giving birth to babies with microcephaly and other birth defects. oregonlive, 8 Feb. 2020 Scientists have already used organoids to make discoveries about schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders and the microcephaly caused by the Zika virus. Quanta Magazine, 23 Jan. 2020 And more than half mistakenly thought that the increase in microcephaly cases came about because of childhood vaccinations or a chemical used against the larvae of mosquitoes that transmit Zika to humans. Gary Stix, Scientific American, 14 Feb. 2020 And more than half believed the DTaP vaccine contributed to the uptick in babies born with microcephaly. oregonlive, 8 Feb. 2020 The study of more than 200 babies, published Monday in the journal Nature Medicine, also shows that a very small number of children born with the congenital condition known as microcephaly had their symptoms improve. Lindsey Bever, Washington Post, 8 July 2019 More than 3,000 babies were born with microcephaly in Brazil during the epidemic. Harriet Blair Rowan, SFChronicle.com, 22 Sep. 2019 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

New Latin microcephalia, from microcephalus microcephalic, from micr- + Greek kephalē head — more at cephalic

First Known Use

1863, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of microcephaly was in 1863

Dictionary Entries Near microcephaly

Cite this Entry

“Microcephaly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/microcephaly. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Medical Definition

microcephaly

noun
mi·​cro·​ceph·​a·​ly -ˈsef-ə-lē How to pronounce microcephaly (audio)
plural microcephalies
: a condition of abnormal smallness of the circumference of the head that is present at birth or develops within the first few years of life and is often associated with developmental delays, impaired cognitive development, poor coordination and balance, deficits in hearing and vision, and seizures

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