1 a : of or relating to the brain or the intellect
b : of, relating to, affecting, or being the cerebrum
2 a : appealing to intellectual appreciation
b : primarily intellectual in nature
Did You Know?
English borrowed its word cerebrum directly from the Latin word for "brain," but the adjective cerebral, though from the same source, took a slightly more circuitous route, making its way into English by way of French. Cerebrum has been used in our language as a name for the upper part of the brain since at least the 1570s. Cerebral has been appearing in print in English since the beginning of the 19th century, when it initially described the brain generally or the intellect. Other brainy descendants of cerebrum in English include cerebellum (the part of the brain between the brain stem and the back of the cerebrum) and cerebrate, a verb meaning "to use the mind" or "to think."
"All exercise is good for the brain. Physical activity increases cerebral blood flow, reduces brain-damaging plaques and works to promote brain health at a cellular level." — Marilynn Preston, The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 29 Jan. 2019
"[Sally] Rooney poses far more questions than answers in her tart, cerebral book about young anti-establishment poets and writers attempting to transcend their own glibness." — Katy Waldman, Slate, 12 Dec. 2017
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
Fill in the blanks to complete an adjective that means "of or relating to the head": ce _ _ a _ ic.VIEW THE ANSWER
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