Definition of trepan in English:


Pronunciation /trəˈpan/ /trəˈpæn/

Translate trepan into Spanish


  • A trephine (hole saw) used by surgeons for perforating the skull.

    • ‘And furthermore, he just sliced through the trepan.’

transitive verbtrepans, trepanning, trepanned

[with object]
  • Perforate (a person's skull) with a trepan.

    ‘They shaved his head and trepanned him to let the pressure out.’
    • ‘Early on, a young boy watches his physician father heal a patient with trepanning, drilling or cutting holes in the skull to remove pressure.’
    • ‘In the opening volleys at the battle of Germantown on 4 October 1777, St George was shot in the head, taken from the field and trepanned, leaving him with a large hole in the side of his skull.’
    • ‘Its age was centuries old, he deduced; and it was holed in several places, as if it had been bled or trepanned for malady.’
    • ‘Call it trepanning without the saw and the blood but with the same effect.’


Late Middle English the noun via medieval Latin from Greek trupanon, from trupan ‘to bore’, from trupē ‘hole’; the verb from Old French trepaner.