oc·​cip·​i·​tal äk-ˈsi-pə-tᵊl How to pronounce occipital (audio)
: of, relating to, or located within or near the occiput or the occipital bone
occipital noun
occipitally adverb

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The vertical occipital fasciculus (VOF) debuted in an atlas by German psychiatrist and anatomist Carl Wernicke in 1881. Jenny Blair, Discover Magazine, 1 Oct. 2015 Specifically, brain activity began in temporal regions instead of frontal, and there was no activity in occipital (visual) cortex or parietal areas. Gabriel A. Silva, Forbes, 31 Dec. 2022 Suppose the occipital cortex had been more active in metal fans. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 25 Sep. 2017 These items — occipital, scapula, vertebrae — are the same types of bones mentioned by both Ellis Kerley and Alan Mann in their 1985 reports about Body G, whom Ellis Kerley identified as 12-year-old Delisha Africa. Bronwen Dickey, New York Times, 19 Oct. 2022 The rider was taken to a hospital with serious injuries including a brain bleed, a lacerated liver and kidney, and an occipital fracture, police said. Caleb Lunetta, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Nov. 2022 Flat bones are often present on the skull, encompassing your frontal and occipital bones. Liam Gravvat, USA TODAY, 17 June 2022 The region, called the fusiform gyrus, lines the base of the occipital and temporal lobes and is specialized for facial recognition. Susan Pinker, WSJ, 15 July 2021 That privilege belongs to more posterior regions—the parietal, temporal and occipital lobes. Christof Koch, Scientific American, 10 May 2021 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1541, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of occipital was in 1541

Dictionary Entries Near occipital

Cite this Entry

“Occipital.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occipital. Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
: of or relating to the back part of the head or skull or to the occipital bone


2 of 2 noun

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
oc·​cip·​i·​tal äk-ˈsip-ət-ᵊl How to pronounce occipital (audio)
: of, relating to, or located within or near the occiput or the occipital bone


2 of 2 noun

More from Merriam-Webster on occipital

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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