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From late Latin pericranium, from Hellenistic Ancient Greek περικράνιον (perikránion), noun use of the neuter form of περικράνιος (perikránios, around the skull), from περί (perí, around) + κρανίον (kraníon, skull).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /pɛɹɪˈkɹeɪnɪəm/


pericranium (plural pericraniums or pericrania)

  1. (anatomy) The membrane (or periosteum) which covers the outer surface of the skull.
  2. (humorous, now rare) The head, skull; one's mind.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, p. 411:
      Now, Mrs Honour had unluckily poured so much of this liquid fire down her throat, that the smoke of it began to ascend into her pericranium, and blinded the eyes of Reason []