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1Not having a head.‘an acephalous skeleton’
- ‘Thus the design may sometimes appear acephalous and at other times polycephalous (Hydra-headed).’
- 1.1 Having no leader or chief.‘an acephalous society’
- ‘From such a perspective, the acephalous Igbo and their neighbors were on the receiving end of artistic innovation.’
- ‘During the late nineteenth century in societies ranging from the acephalous to interlacustrine kingdoms, senior men bolstered their authority through a monopoly of access to locally brewed beer.’
- ‘The resistance is largely decentralised, localised and acephalous.’
- ‘Whereas most large centralized states surrendered after an initial confrontation and defeat, certain small, and also acephalous, polities kept up a long drawn-out military struggle against alien rule.’
- ‘Reflecting the primacy of kinship bonds, tribes are resolutely egalitarian, segmental, and acephalous - to use terms favored by anthropologists.’
- ‘Sierra Leone was the object of similar plunder, leaving an acephalous state in rampant disorder only to be stabilised by British Tommies.’
- ‘The innuendo was that female rule, if insufficiently ‘godly’, was not sacral monarchy, but was tantamount to minority or acephalous rule.’
- ‘The project could be described as an acephalous horde, in which there may be some person with more influence than others, but where everything is agreed in direct communication.’
(typically of a hexameter beginning with a short syllable) lacking a syllable or syllables in the first foot.
Mid 18th century: via medieval Latin from Greek akephalos ‘headless’ (from a- ‘without’ + kephalē ‘head’) + -ous.
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