oc·​cip·​i·​tal | \ äk-ˈsi-pə-tᵊl How to pronounce occipital (audio) \

Definition of occipital

: of, relating to, or located within or near the occiput or the occipital bone

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from occipital

occipital noun
occipitally adverb

Examples of occipital in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In amateur writers, neurons fired in the lateral occipital areas, which are associated with visual processing. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "The New Yorker," 25 May 2018 The effect, called enlarged external occipital protuberance, used to be so uncommon, Sayers said, that one of its early observers, toward the end of the 19th century, objected to its title. nola.com, "Horns are growing on young people’s skulls; researchers blame phone use," 22 June 2019 This anatomical feature is called an external occipital protuberance, or EOP. Allen Kim, CNN, "A report says young people are growing horns on their skulls. Critics don't buy it," 21 June 2019 The bone spurs jut off of what’s called the external occipital protuberance (EOP) of the skull. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Debunked: The absurd story about smartphones causing kids to sprout horns," 21 June 2019 The other extreme hypothesis was that UD’s brain would completely compensate, with other regions taking over the roles of the right sides of the occipital and temporal lobes, leading UD to function completely normally. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Doctors cut out a large chunk of a boy’s brain—now he’s doing just fine," 1 Aug. 2018 The occipital cortex processes visual information and allows us to see faces, trees, the stars. New York Times, "My Patient’s Smile," 16 May 2018 There, the child suffered respiratory failure, post-traumatic seizures and an occipital stroke. Crocker Stephenson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Better Angels: Horrific child abuse forces Milwaukee-area Facebook group to examine values," 22 Feb. 2018 And while the trigeminal nerve is certainly involved, Dr. Ailani notes there’s also a theory that the occipital nerve, which supplies feeling to the back and top of your head, may somehow contribute to this condition, too. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "8 Things You Need to Know About Excruciatingly Painful Cluster Headaches," 17 Dec. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of occipital

1541, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for occipital

borrowed from Middle French, probably borrowed from Medieval Latin occipitālis, from Latin occipit-, occiput occiput + -ālis -al entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about occipital

Time Traveler for occipital

Time Traveler

The first known use of occipital was in 1541

See more words from the same year

Statistics for occipital

Cite this Entry

“Occipital.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occipital. Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for occipital


oc·​cip·​i·​tal | \ äk-ˈsip-ət-ᵊl How to pronounce occipital (audio) \

Medical Definition of occipital

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or located within or near the occiput or the occipital bone



Medical Definition of occipital (Entry 2 of 2)

More from Merriam-Webster on occipital

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about occipital

Comments on occipital

What made you want to look up occipital? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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