Definition of anencephalic in US English:



  • Having the cerebral hemispheres and a large part of the skull congenitally absent; exhibiting anencephaly.

    • ‘He reminds me that, already, few doctors struggle to save anencephalic babies (those born with only a brain stem and no upper brain) or those with spina bifida.’
    • ‘It can uncover 90 percent of anencephalic pregnancies and 80 percent of spina bifida cases.’
    • ‘In a Finnish study, mothers of anencephalic children were more likely than matched control patients to remember having a cold in the first trimester of pregnancy.’
    • ‘From 1989 to 1991, the rate of such defects for Brownsville was 10 times the U.S. average, or about 30 anencephalic births per 10,000 births.’
    • ‘Brazil expanded its abortion law July 1, allowing the abortion of anencephalic children - children with no brain.’


  • An anencephalic fetus or infant.

    • ‘An individual who is in a ‘persistent vegetative state,’ an irreversible deep coma, fits this description, as do infants born with no cerebral cortex (anencephalics).’
    • ‘The excess was most pronounced for the subgroup of anencephalics, in which prevalence increased 5-fold.’


Mid 19th century: from Greek anenkephalos ‘without brain’ + -ic.