Meaning of phrenology in English:


Pronunciation /frɪˈnɒlədʒi/

Translate phrenology into Spanish


mass nounmainly historical
  • The detailed study of the shape and size of the cranium as a supposed indication of character and mental abilities.

    ‘He finds himself drawn on a journey involving phrenology, the dodgy science of determining mental prowess from bumps on the head, involving a machine called a psychograph.’
    • ‘As the prototype for a normalizing physical anthropology, however, phrenology, with its value-laden stereotyping psycho-techniques, introduced new ethical problems.’
    • ‘In Bentham's day, the cutting edge of brain science was phrenology - the idea that you could read someone's character by feeling the contours of his or her skull.’
    • ‘At this point, many no longer considered phrenology a legitimate science, and America was now looking to the most recent European import, the emerging field of psychoanalysis, to explain human behavior.’
    • ‘Once a lively ‘science’, phrenology disappeared because what it proposed was incorrect and hence irrelevant.’


Early 19th century from Greek phrēn, phren- ‘mind’ + -logy.