Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: cephal-, cephalo-

Bigfin Reef Squid
Bbioluminescence is common in several species of squid (cephalopod) such as this bigfin reef squid. Sha/Moment Open/Getty Images

Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: cephal-, cephalo-


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


Brachycephalic (brachy-cephal-ic) - having a short, broad head.

Cephalad (cephal-ad) - positioned toward the head.

Cephalalgia (cephal-algia) - pain located in or near the head; headache.

Cephalic (cephal-ic) - relating to the head or located near the head.

Cephalin (cephal-in) - a type of cell membrane phospholipid found in brain and spinal cord tissue.

Cephalization (cephal-ization) - in animal development, the development of a highly specialized brain that processes sensory input.

Cephalogram (cephalo-gram) - an x-ray of the head and facial area.

Cephalohematoma (cephalo-hemat-oma) - a pool of blood that collects under the scalp of an infant. It typically results from pressure during the birthing process.

Cephalometry (cephalo-pathy) - scientific measurement of the bones of the head.

Cephalopathy (cephalo-metry) - any disease of the head.

Cephaloplegia (cephalo-plegia) - paralysis that occurs in the muscles of the head or neck.

Cephalopod (cephalo-pod) - invertebrate animals including squid and octopuses, that appear to have limbs or feet that are attached to their heads.

Cephalothorax (cephalo-thorax) - fused head and thorax seen in many arthropods and crustaceans.

Encephalitis (encephal-itis) - inflammation of the brain, typically caused by viral infection.

Hydrocephalus (hydro-cephalus) - an abnormal condition of the head in which the cerebral ventricles expand causing fluid to accumulate in the brain.

Leptocephalus (lepto-cephalus) - having an abnormally tall and narrow skull.

Mesocephalic (meso-cephalic) - having a head that is of a medium size.

Microcephaly (micro-cephaly) - having an abnormally small head.

Plagiocephalic (plagio-cephalic) - having a flat area on the face or head. It is commonly seen in babies and results from pressure on the area.

Procephalic (pro-cephalic) - located near the front of the head.

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Bailey, Regina. "Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: cephal-, cephalo-." ThoughtCo, Apr. 22, 2016, Bailey, Regina. (2016, April 22). Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: cephal-, cephalo-. Retrieved from Bailey, Regina. "Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: cephal-, cephalo-." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 18, 2018).