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Late Latin hemicrania (pain in one half of the head), from Ancient Greek ἡμικρᾱνίᾰ (hēmikrānía), from ἡμι- (hēmi-, hemi-, half) + κρανίον (kraníon, skull) (from whence also cranium).

Cognate to megrim and migraine, which also derive from the Latin.



hemicrania (countable and uncountable, plural hemicranias)

  1. (pathology) A headache affecting one side of the head.
    • 1993, The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov, translation Burgin and O’Connor, Chapter 2, p. 17:
      “Gods, gods, why do you punish me? Yes, no doubt it is upon me again, again this terrible, invincible affliction … this hemicrania which grips half the head with pain … without remedy, without escape … I must try not to move my head. …”

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Medical term, used in some literary contexts; not used in everyday speech. Instead more general headache or more specific migraine used.


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