Go to 'thermo-' entry Go to 'dino-' entry Go to 'chondro-' entry Go to 'aero-' entry Go to '-logy' entry Go to 'thaumato-' entry Go to 'nano-' entry Go to '-sophy' entry Go to 'bucco-' entry Go to '-ism' entry Go to '-lysis' entry Go to 'galacto-' entry Go to '-anthropy' entry Go to 'pneumo-' entry Go to '-ploitation' entry Go to '-lithic' entry Go to '-sepalous' entry Go to 'onco-' entry Go to '-parous' entry Go to 'dermato-' entry Go to 'multi-' entry Go to 'dodeca-' entry Go to '-zoon' entry Go to 'vermi-' entry Go to 'crystallo-' entry Go to 'biblio-' entry Go to 'eco-' entry Go to 'juxta-' entry Go to 'facio-' entry
Affixes: the building blocks of English
Affixes: the building blocks of English

-cephalic Also -cephalous, -cephalus, and -cephaly.

The head.

[Greek kephalē, head.]

Adjectives in -cephalic and -cephalous are usually equivalent in meaning, though the former is more common. Examples are hydrocephalic (literally, having water on the head) in reference to a child suffering from an enlarged head because of fluid retention; brachycephalic (Greek brakhus, short), having a relatively broad, short skull; microcephalic (Greek mikros, small), abnormal smallness of the head, a congenital condition associated with incomplete brain development; bicephalous (Latin bi, having two), having two heads.

Nouns in -cephalus or -cephaly refer to the condition: hydrocephalus; microcephaly; macrocephalus; plagiocephaly (Greek plagios, slanting), oblique deformity of the head. With the exception of hydrocephalus, forms in -cephalus are generally less common than those in -cephaly.

Visit Michael Quinion’s World Wide Words site for 2000+ articles on English!

Copyright © Michael Quinion 2008–. All rights reserved. Page last updated 23 September 2008.
Your comments and suggestions on the site are very welcome.