From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



cranio- +‎ -scopy


cranioscopy (countable and uncountable, plural cranioscopies)

  1. (rare) The study of the shape, size, and other features of the human skull.
    • 1864, C. G. Carus, “Some Remarks on the Construction of the Upper Jaw of the Skull of a Greenlander,”, in Journal of the Anthropological Society of London, volume 2, page cxiv:
      In the first part of my Atlas on Cranioscopy, which appeared in Leipzig in 1843, I remarked that in the skull of a Greenlander, which I sketched, it was singular, that on this skull there was a decided separation between the upper jaw-bone and the intermaxillary bone, almost as in little children or in quadrupeds.
  2. (dated) Phrenology.
    • 1978, William J. Broad, “Lost in Thought”, in Science News, volume 114, number 22, page 361:
      A theory that was totally wrong helped focus attention on the right questions. Some people called it phrenology. Its founder, Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828) called it cranioscopy. . . . It held that the brain had specific areas of function and that mental and moral attributes of a person could be determined by examination of the cranium.

Derived terms[edit]


  • cranioscopy in An American Dictionary of the English Language, by Noah Webster, 1828.
  • Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.
  • Random House Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary, 1987-1996.