- : A short head, one that is short in diameter from front to back. Brachycephaly is a frequent feature of syndromes of congenital malformation (birth defect complexes) including Down syndrome (trisomy 21). The word brachycephaly or, as it sometimes referred to, brachycephalia comes from the Greek brachys, short + kephale, head.
* * *Disproportionate shortness of head, the skull having a cephalic index of over 80; among the brachycephalic races are the Native Americans, Malays, and Burmese. SYN: brachycephalia, brachycephalism. [brachy- + G. kephale, head]
* * *n.shortness of the skull, with a cephalic index of about 80.• brachycephalic adj.
* * *brachy·ceph·a·ly (brak″e-sefґə-le) [brachy- + Gr. -cephaly] having a comparatively short head, with a cephalic index of 81.0 to 85.4, a characteristic of American Indians, Malayans, and Burmese.
Medical dictionary. 2011.