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

The prefrontal area, on the other hand, shuts down during sleep. Alison Gopnik, WSJ, "For Babies, Life May Be a Trip," 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, "I study kids who were separated from their parents. The trauma could change their brains forever.," 20 June 2018 The most significant differences in brain volume were seen in the temporal and prefrontal lobes, including areas associated with activity, attention, and motor control. Amy Ellis Nutt,, "Brain abnormalities found in 4- and 5-year-olds with ADHD, researchers say," 26 Mar. 2018 The group that played the nonviolent game showed more activity in the prefrontal parts of the brain, which are involved in inhibition, concentration and self-control., "Trump Reopens a Seemingly Settled Video-Game Debate," 7 Mar. 2018 The presence of his adored Rose, who would spend her life in mental institutions after being given a prefrontal lobotomy, feels especially vivid. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Tennessee Williams, Restless and Revising," 12 Feb. 2018 The prefrontal region functions include: decision-making, impulse control, logical thinking and risk management, among other things. Alaska Dispatch News, "Readers write: Letters to the editor, September 22, 2017," 22 Sep. 2017 In 1949, the prize for medicine was awarded to Antonio Moniz for inventing prefrontal lobotomy, which turned people into walking shells of themselves and termed them cured.​ Enough said. Devang Mehta, Slate Magazine, "Nobel Prizes Should Reward Science, Not Scientists," 3 Oct. 2017 One region, the anterior prefrontal cortex, is known for integrating new information from the environment with long-term memories, which could translate into making price comparisons and forming expectations, researchers say. Amanda Macmillan, Time, "Why Wine Tastes Better When It Costs More," 16 Aug. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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, "Science behind marijuana empowers teens," 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, "The Secret Social Media Lives of Teenagers," 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, "Why We Forgo Self-Interest for Others' Sake," 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, "Science behind marijuana empowers teens," 14 Apr. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of prefrontal


1854, in the meaning defined above


1854, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about prefrontal

Share prefrontal

Statistics for prefrontal

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prefrontal

The first known use of prefrontal was in 1854

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on prefrontal

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


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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!