Definition of skull in English:



  • 1A bone framework enclosing the brain of a vertebrate; the skeleton of a person's or animal's head.

    ‘he broke his collar bone and fractured his skull’
    • ‘There should be no difference between the intensity of the sound waves reaching each cochlea via the bones of the skull.’
    • ‘For skull lengths, neither descendent population differs significantly from its progenitor population.’
    • ‘"This creature had enough power to crush a human skull, " Wroe said.’
    • ‘A post-mortem examination showed a fractured skull, with bone fragments pushing into the brain's membrane.’
    • ‘Both chickens and humans are vertebrates, a group of animals that have skulls and backbones.’
    • ‘For male skull length, the pattern is similar but not so clean.’
    • ‘The impact of the crash has fractured his skull and he won't stop bleeding.’
    • ‘You do get people with highly unusual skull shapes, why not in animals?’
    • ‘He was later found unconscious and taken by ambulance back to BRI, where the fractured skull was discovered.’
    • ‘All these are headquartered at the inside part of the temporal lobe of the brain behind the skull's bony archway joining your ear to your eye.’
    • ‘The 57-year-old had suffered a fractured skull and died later in hospital.’
    • ‘All the blood cells are formed in the marrow of the flat bones such as the skull, breastbone and pelvis.’
    • ‘I read this story about the baby's skull being cracked.’
    • ‘A toddler suffered a fractured skull in a mystery road accident outside his house.’
    • ‘And from this, you suffer four skull fractures, a broken hand and broken leg.’
    • ‘Generally, carnivore species are more dimorphic for canine measurements than for skull length.’
    • ‘Even if the knock is not severe enough to cause the skull to fracture, the brain bangs against the skull and can be damaged.’
    • ‘There does not need to be a visible injury, such as a fracture to the skull, for brain damage to occur.’
    • ‘The victim was rushed to St George's Hospital with a cracked skull and is now recovering at home.’
    • ‘A skull X-Ray revealed a fracture of the right petrous temporal bone.’
    1. 1.1informal A person's head or brain.
      ‘a skull crammed with too many thoughts’
      • ‘She dodged the flying body and kicked Lars hard enough to crush his skull.’
      • ‘But light sears in, and I shudder, my entire body retching in the pain of my head and my skull.’
      • ‘I put my hands behind my head to prop my skull up so I had a clear view of the ocean.’
      • ‘The sound vibrations reverberate in the skull and heads towards the ear, where, we are assured, the diver can hear the conversation perfectly well.’
      • ‘She put the emphasis on the negative, hoping it would penetrate their thick skulls.’
      • ‘I felt its claws sink in my skull and shifted my head to look at it.’
      • ‘But here's the rub: each contestant is given just eight hours to cram their skull with their opponents' specialised subject.’
      • ‘He also told a male that the lump on his head was his skull.’
      • ‘Ethan put a hand slowly to his head, feeling his skull.’
      • ‘Her thoughts ran around in her head, pounding her skull.’
      • ‘History, being his subject, he crammed into their skulls time and time again, getting frustrated that they never remembered it.’
      • ‘Thoughts chased one another through my head until my skull ached from their haphazard flights.’
      • ‘Soon after, she felt another something hard smack into her skull, making her head pound and spin.’
      • ‘Drake closed his eyes tightly as the voice in his head reverberated around his skull.’
      • ‘Feeling the headache come from within her skull, she headed to the water basin and splashed some water on her face.’
      • ‘It was a quick, sharp pain in the back of his head from inside his skull.’
      • ‘She sat up swiftly from the floor but found that her neck was very sore and her head pounded beneath her skull.’
      • ‘His head throbbed against his skull, and he closed his eyes again, the light of the room making the migraine worse.’
      • ‘Dull pain throbbed in the back of her head where her skull had collided with the shatterproof glass.’
      • ‘Flora pounded her fists into her skull and shook her head.’
      skull, cranium, crown
      View synonyms


[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • Hit (someone) on the head.

    ‘my waking came in drugged stages—I had been skulled’
    • ‘If Joan were really around, she'd skull Le Pen with a spiked mace.’
    • ‘He looked over at Andy, who was trying to skull the whole lot in one go!’
    • ‘On April Fool's Day 1997, dozens of people went out on skulling missions, hitting hundreds of billboards on busy Toronto streets.’


  • out of one's skull

    • 1informal Out of one's mind; crazy.

      ‘I'm out of my skull with happiness’
      • ‘Anyone who seriously thought Lord Of The Rings was going to win the top honours is out of their skull.’
      • ‘When Rhi moved in I was very ill, depressed out of my skull, afraid of the world and generally an apathetic blob.’
      • ‘‘I knew I would go out of my skull if I didn't work,’ she says.’
      • ‘I think you're out of your skull for coming back.’
    • 2informal Very drunk.

      ‘she'll be lying on a bed, out of her skull’
      • ‘‘He was clearly out of his skull on drugs,’ he said.’
      • ‘Emil's drunk out of his skull and Lexi's scared to death.’
      • ‘People can feel there is nothing to identify with but David Beckham, and all that's left is to get out of your skull on drugs and alcohol.’
      • ‘I'm in Canada, and drunk out of my skull, mind you, so ignore me. / / thread rot…’
      • ‘She's the responsible one, even when she's hammered out of her skull.’
      • ‘I hope Elvis was wasted out of his skull and bought it as a joke, but that's wishful thinking.’
      • ‘I was bored out of my skull listening to about two and a half hours of the above.’
      intoxicated, inebriated, drunken, befuddled, incapable, tipsy, the worse for drink, under the influence, maudlin
      View synonyms
  • skull and crossbones

    • A representation of a skull with two thigh bones crossed below it as an emblem of piracy or death.

      • ‘Beneath it shimmered a hologram of, quite unpleasantly, a 3 - D bloodied skull and crossbones.’
      • ‘The battered and corroded drum, marked with a skull and crossbones, was discovered shortly after 9am.’
      • ‘It also had a reflective skull and crossbones on the front.’
      • ‘This page about trans fats at the Harvard School of Public Health has a skull and crossbones at the top of it.’
      • ‘In addition, the label shall show a representation of a skull and crossbones.’


Middle English scolle; of unknown origin; compare with Old Norse skoltr.