- The skull is a collection of bones which encase the brain and give form to the head and face. The bones of the skull include the following: the frontal, parietal, occipital, temporal, sphenoid, ethmoid, zygomatic, maxilla, nasal, vomer, palatine, inferior concha, and mandible. The early English word "skulle" came from the Nordic words "skal" and "skul" meaning a bowl. It is also thought that the Nordic toast "Skoal!" came from "skal" since ceremonial drinks were served in a bowl (or skull).
* * *SYN: cranium. [Early Eng. skulle, a bowl]- cloverleaf s. cloverleaf s. syndrome.- maplike s. various defects in the s., especially in the temporal bone, the anterior fossa, and orbits, forming irregular outlines resembling the national boundaries in an atlas.- steeple s., tower s. SYN: oxycephaly.
* * *skull 'skəl n the skeleton of the head forming a bony case that encloses and protects the brain and chief sense organs and supports the jaws
* * *n.the skeleton of the head and face, which is made up of 22 bones. It can be divided into the cranium, which encloses the brain, and the face (including the lower jaw (mandible)). The cranium consists of eight bones. The frontal, parietals (two), occipital, and temporals (two) form the vault of the skull (calvaria) and are made up of two thin layers of compact bone separated by a layer of spongy bone (diploë). The remaining bones of the cranium - the sphenoid and ethmoid - form part of its base. The 14 bones that make up the face are the nasals, lacrimals, inferior nasal conchae, maxillae, zygomatics, and palatines (two of each), the vomer, and the mandible. All the bones of the skull except the mandible are connected to each other by immovable joints (see suture). The skull contains cavities for the eyes (see orbit) and nose (see nasal cavity) and a large opening at its base (foramen magnum) through which the spinal cord passes.
* * *(skul) the skeleton of the head, including the cranium and the mandible. See illustration.
Lateral view of the skull.
Medical dictionary. 2011.