Definition of cerebral in English:



  • 1Of the cerebrum of the brain.

    ‘a cerebral haemorrhage’
    ‘the cerebral cortex’
    • ‘Pulmonary artery, nasopharyngeal, and esophageal temperatures tracked cerebral temperature better than bladder or rectal temperatures.’
    • ‘These patients experienced major gains in cerebral, motor, brain stem/cranial nerve, cerebellar and/or sensory function.’
    • ‘Increases in intrathoracic pressure cause obstruction in cerebral venous outflow, leading to vascular congestion.’
    • ‘Initial scan results may also reveal a hyperdense middle cerebral artery thought to be caused by a fresh clot or embolus.’
    • ‘Tumor invaded the parenchyma in multiple cerebral and brain stem sections.’
    • ‘Epilepsy refers to recurrent seizures that reflect aberrant electrical activity of cerebral cortical neurons.’
    • ‘Nitroglycerin reduces BP by reducing preload and cardiac output, undesirable effects in patients with compromised cerebral and renal perfusion.’
    • ‘Hypertension associated with cerebral infarction or intracerebral hemorrhage only rarely requires treatment.’
    • ‘The worst of all possibilities is if the patient has slipped into an irreversible coma due to a cerebral hemorrhage or some other catastrophe.’
    • ‘The adjacent cerebral parenchyma and overlying ependyma revealed no discrete inflammation or vasculitis.’
    • ‘Common findings on brain imaging include enlarged ventricles, widened cortical sulci, and cerebral, cerebellar, or brain stem atrophy.’
    • ‘As 3% of these patients had a major haemorrhage or cerebral bleed, aspirin should not be assumed to be a safer option.’
    • ‘It may be the leading risk factor for cerebral aneurysms and subarchnoid hemorrhage.’
    • ‘Seizures are usually due to hypoxic encephalopathy, hemorrhage or cerebral infarction.’
    • ‘After giving off pontine and other branches, the basilar artery divides into two posterior cerebral arteries at the upper border of the pons.’
    • ‘A constriction of the blood vessels in the brain, cerebral vasospasm usually occurs three to 10 days following a massive brain bleed known as hemorrhagic stroke.’
    • ‘The package fell on the man's head, causing a massive cerebral hemorrhage.’
    • ‘The voluntary muscles are regulated by the parts of the brain known as the cerebral motor cortex and the cerebellum.’
    • ‘Others such as acute dissection of the carotid or vertebral artery, subarachnoid haemorrhage, cranial arteritis, and occasionally cerebral tumours may produce migrainous symptoms.’
    • ‘The third section focuses on thrombosis affecting neurological systems, in particular, thrombotic stroke and cerebral venous thrombosis.’
    serious, serious-minded, solemn, grave, sober, humourless, staid, steady, intense
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    1. 1.1Intellectual rather than emotional or physical.
      ‘she excelled in cerebral pursuits’
      • ‘Perhaps in an attempt to portray the character as cerebral rather than outwardly expressive, he ends up conveying very little emotion.’
      • ‘Not necessarily physical action, but cerebral and emotional action.’
      • ‘That said, her involvement with nature is cerebral rather than emotional.’
      • ‘It's intricate, emotional, cerebral, funny, satirical, worldly, and will have you sifting through your reference books with glee.’
      • ‘Ryan is Frannie, the cool and cerebral literary academic who, as a murder inquiry witness, is strangely drawn to the homicide detective played by the excellent Mark Ruffalo.’
      • ‘That was similar in that we were taking her deeply ironic and intelligent and cerebral group of stories and fleshing them out into this big strange movie.’
      • ‘To her learning is a process that draws on emotional, cerebral and physical faculties.’
      • ‘Such assistance would have been as much physical as cerebral, for the ‘portable’ recording machine they were using weighed no less than 350 pounds.’
      • ‘His acting is physical not cerebral (although his characters are often mental).’
      • ‘I suspect that the evolution of Homo sapiens sapiens will be cerebral rather than physical.’
      • ‘They also may have highlighted the cerebral rather than the sexual aspects of their visits because of how they wanted to represent themselves to me.’
      • ‘It could be that he just instinctively knows what to do, instinctively knows what's right, relying on gut feeling rather than cerebral exertion.’
      • ‘A friend said: ‘He's a very cerebral politician, very intellectual, one of the smartest three or four politicians of his age.’’
      • ‘However, it was a move borne of a need to address the city's chronic economic problems - unemployment was second only to Liverpool - rather than any cerebral dialectics on the value of high art.’
      • ‘As artists, all of us want to make a passionate statement rather than just a cerebral one, and contemporary music, performance and art is all about pleasure, about dialogue with people.’
      • ‘Still, the music seemed too cerebral, not emotional.’
      • ‘Forced in on themselves, and into more and more cerebral pursuits instead of physical ones, it is no wonder so many teenagers, despite their material privileges, become sunk in apathy and self-pity.’
      • ‘This is very much in line with the contemporary need to have everything explained in cerebral, rather than emotional terms.’
      • ‘Novelists are thought to be doing something very cerebral, like intellectual engineering.’
      • ‘At least I have chosen to parade all things cerebral rather than physical about myself, and - believe me - it's better for all of us that way.’
      learned, erudite, academic, well read, widely read, intellectual, literary, lettered, well educated, knowledgeable, cultured, cultivated, highbrow
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  • 2Phonetics

    another term for retroflex
    • ‘I shall mark these cerebral consonants with a dot under them.’
    • ‘Owing to printer's difficulties the cerebral consonants, the visarga, the sonant r and the anusvara have remained unmarked.’
    • ‘Wikner lumps the cerebral and dental consonants together, since the sounds are difficult for the Westerner to distinguish.’


Early 19th century: from Latin cerebrum brain + -al.