Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: Cephal-, Cephalo-

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The word part cephal- or cephalo- means head. Variants of this affix include (-cephalic), (-cephalus), and (-cephaly).

Words Beginning With (Cephal-) or (Cephalo-)

  • Cephalad (cephal-ad): Cephalad is a directional term used in anatomy to indicate positioning toward the head or anterior end of the body.
  • Cephalalgia (cephal-algia): Pain located in or near the head is called cephalalgia. It is also known as a headache.
  • Cephalic (cephal-ic): Cephalic means of or relating to the head, or located near the head.
  • Cephalin (cephal-in): Cephalin is a type of cell membrane phospholipid found in body cells, particularly in brain and spinal cord tissue. It is also the main phospholipid in bacteria.
  • Cephalization (cephal-ization): In animal development, this term refers to the development of a highly specialized brain that processes sensory input and controls body functions.
  • Cephalocele (cephalo-cele): A cephalocele is a protrusion of part of the brain and meninges through an opening in the skull.
  • Cephalogram (cephalo-gram): A cephalogram is an X-ray of the head and facial area. It assists in obtaining accurate measurements of the jaw and facial bones and is also used as a diagnostic tool for conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Cephalohematoma (cephalo-hemat-oma): A cephalohematoma is a pool of blood that collects under the scalp. It typically occurs in infants and results from pressure during the birthing process.
  • Cephalometry (cephalo-metry): The scientific measurement of the bones of the head and face is called cephalometry. Measurements are often taken using radiographic imaging.
  • Cephalopathy (cephalo-pathy): Also called encephalopathy, this term refers to any disease of the brain.
  • Cephaloplegia (cephalo-plegia): This condition is characterized by paralysis that occurs in the muscles of the head or neck.
  • Cephalopod (cephalo-pod): Cephalopods are invertebrate animals, including squid and octopuses, that appear to have limbs or feet that are attached to their heads.
  • Cephalothorax (cephalo-thorax): The fused head and thorax section of the body seen in many arthropods and crustaceans is known as the cephalothorax.

Words With (-cephal-), (-cephalic), (-cephalus), or (-cephaly)

  • Brachycephalic (brachy-cephalic): This term refers to individuals with skull bones that are shortened in length resulting in a short, broad head.
  • Encephalitis (en-cephal-itis): Encephalitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the brain, typically caused by a viral infection. Viruses that cause encephalitis include measles, chickenpox, mumps, HIV, and herpes simplex.
  • Hydrocephalus (hydro-cephalus): Hydrocephalus is an abnormal condition of the head in which the cerebral ventricles expand, causing fluid to accumulate in the brain.
  • Leptocephalus (lepto-cephalus): This term means "slim head" and refers to having an abnormally tall and narrow skull.
  • Megacephaly (mega-cephaly): This condition is characterized by the development of an abnormally large head.
  • Megalencephaly (mega-en-cephaly): Megalencephaly is the development of an abnormally large brain. Individuals with this condition may experience seizures, paralysis, and decreased cognitive function.
  • Mesocephalic (meso-cephalic): Mesocephalic refers to having a head that is of medium size.
  • Microcephaly (micro-cephaly): This condition is characterized by an abnormally small head in relation to body size. Microcephaly is a congenital condition that can be caused by chromosome mutation, exposure to toxins, maternal infections, or trauma.
  • Plagiocephaly (plagio-cephaly): Plagiocephaly is a skull deformity in which the head appears asymmetrical with flat regions. This condition occurs in babies and results from abnormal closure of cranial sutures.
  • Procephalic (pro-cephalic): This directional anatomy term describes a position located near the front of the head.
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Your Citation
Bailey, Regina. "Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: Cephal-, Cephalo-." ThoughtCo, Jul. 29, 2021, Bailey, Regina. (2021, July 29). Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: Cephal-, Cephalo-. Retrieved from Bailey, Regina. "Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: Cephal-, Cephalo-." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 9, 2023).