pre·​fron·​tal | \ (ˌ)prē-ˈfrən-tᵊl How to pronounce prefrontal (audio) \

Definition of prefrontal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: anterior to or involving the anterior part of a frontal structure a prefrontal bone



Definition of prefrontal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a prefrontal part (such as a bone)

Examples of prefrontal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective When Bruce was around 5, she was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, subjected to a prefrontal lobotomy and confined to mental institutions. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, 5 Jan. 2022 For the recent study, researchers noticed smaller prefrontal cortexes and amygdala in adolescents who had repeatedly experienced harsh parenting practices in childhood. Kiersten Willis, ajc, 23 Mar. 2021 But if the stressor is an invisible virus, losing your prefrontal function is extraordinarily unhelpful and more dangerous. Susan Dunne,, 10 Aug. 2020 Understanding how fish behave on high-pressure days versus prefrontal days with dropping barometric pressure is key. Kristtine Fischer, Outdoor Life, 6 May 2020 President Kennedy's sister, Rosemary Kennedy, had part of her brain removed in 1941 in a relatively new procedure known as a prefrontal lobotomy. Faith Karimi, CNN, 2 Aug. 2019 Freeman traveled to mental institutions around the U.S. in the ’50s and ’60s championing the dangerous brain surgery and continuing long after prefrontal lobotomies were widely discredited. David Sims, The Atlantic, 28 July 2019 The prefrontal area, on the other hand, shuts down during sleep. Alison Gopnik, WSJ, 18 July 2018 One study suggests that parents help children to induce a more mature form of amygdala-prefrontal connectivity that encourages effective regulation. Dylan Gee, Vox, 20 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Dehaene and Changeux postulated that the workspace is instantiated by a network of pyramidal (excitatory) neurons linked to far-flung cortical regions, in particular the prefrontal, parietotemporal and midline (cingulate) associative areas. Christof Koch, Scientific American, 1 Dec. 2019 During the adolescent years the prefrontal cortex, the portion of your brain that sits just behind your forehead, is still forming. Molly Lotz, The Denver Post, 14 Apr. 2017 The combination of social media pressure and an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain that helps us rationalize decisions, control impulsivity and make judgments, can contribute to offensive online posts. Ana Homayoun, New York Times, 7 June 2017 And when people refused to profit from harming others, the prefrontal cortex increased its communication with the striatum. Molly Crockett, Scientific American Blog Network, 15 May 2017 The prefrontal cortex trims away neural connections that are not needed and begins the process of myelination, or wrapping nerve cells in myelin. Molly Lotz, The Denver Post, 14 Apr. 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of prefrontal


1854, in the meaning defined above


1854, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for prefrontal

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The first known use of prefrontal was in 1854

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Dictionary Entries Near prefrontal



prefrontal cortex

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Cite this Entry

“Prefrontal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for prefrontal


pre·​fron·​tal | \ ˌprē-ˈfrənt-ᵊl How to pronounce prefrontal (audio) \

Medical Definition of prefrontal

1 : situated or occurring anterior to a frontal structure a prefrontal bone
2 : of, relating to, or constituting the prefrontal lobe or prefrontal cortex of the brain


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