• Diagram of brains of vertebrates
    Diagram of brains of vertebrates
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v brain kill by smashing someone's skull
    • v brain hit on the head
    • n brain that part of the central nervous system that includes all the higher nervous centers; enclosed within the skull; continuous with the spinal cord
    • n brain that which is responsible for one's thoughts and feelings; the seat of the faculty of reason "his mind wandered","I couldn't get his words out of my head"
    • n brain mental ability "he's got plenty of brains but no common sense"
    • n brain the brain of certain animals used as meat
    • n brain someone who has exceptional intellectual ability and originality "Mozart was a child genius","he's smart but he's no Einstein"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Vertical Section of the Brain Vertical Section of the Brain
The Base of the Brain The Base of the Brain
Brain and spinal cord Brain and spinal cord

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: It is not possible to tickle yourself. The cerebellum, a part of the brain, warns the rest of the brain that you are about to tickle yourself. Since your brain knows this, it ignores the resulting sensation
    • Brain a very intelligent person.
    • Brain The affections; fancy; imagination.
    • Brain (Zoöl) The anterior or cephalic ganglion in insects and other invertebrates.
    • Brain the controlling electronic mechanism for a robot, guided missile, computer, or other device exhibiting some degree of self-regulation.
    • Brain The organ or seat of intellect; hence, the understanding; as, use your brains . "My brain is too dull."
    • Brain (Anat) The whitish mass of soft matter (the center of the nervous system, and the seat of consciousness and volition) which is inclosed in the cartilaginous or bony cranium of vertebrate animals. It is simply the anterior termination of the spinal cord, and is developed from three embryonic vesicles, whose cavities are connected with the central canal of the cord; the cavities of the vesicles become the central cavities, or ventricles, and the walls thicken unequally and become the three segments, the fore-, mid-, and hind-brain.
    • Brain To conceive; to understand. "'T is still a dream, or else such stuff as madmen
      Tongue, and brain not."
    • Brain To dash out the brains of; to kill by beating out the brains. "There thou mayst brain him.""It was the swift celerity of the death . . . That brained my purpose."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Over 80% of the brain is water
    • n brain In anatomy, the soft grayish and whitish mass filling the cranial cavity of a vertebrate, consisting of ganglionic nerve-cells and nerve-fibers, with the requisite sustentacular and vascular tissue; the encephalon (which see); the part of the cerebrospinal axis which is contained in the cranium. It is divided by anatomists into — the prosencephalon, comprising the cerebral hemispheres (or lateral halves of the cerebrum) with the olfactory lobes;
    • n brain In entomology, the principal ganglion of the nervous system, situated in the head, over the esophagus, and formed by the coalescence of serveral supra-esophageal ganglia. The nerves of the eyes and antennæ are directly connected with it, and it gives off two inferior branches which surround the esophagus and unite beneath in the subesophageal ganglion. Sometimes this ganglion is regarded as a part of the brain, being distinguished as the cerebellum, while the principal or upper ganglion is called the cerebrum.
    • n brain The same or a corresponding portion of the nervous system in many other invertebrates.
    • n brain Understanding; intellectual power; fancy; imagination: commonly in the plural: as, a man of brains; “my brain is too dull,”
    • brain To dash out the brains of; kill by beating in the skull.
    • brain Figuratively, to destroy; defeat; balk; thwart.
    • brain To get into the brain; conceive; understand.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The human brain has about 100,000,000,000 (100 billion) neurons
    • n Brain brān the term applied to that part of the central nervous system which in vertebrated animals is contained within the cranium or skull, and in the invertebrata, to the nervous ganglia near the head end of the body: the seat of the intellect and of sensation: the intellect
    • v.t Brain to dash out the brains of:
    • v.t Brain (Shak.) to conceive of
    • ***


  • Michelangelo
    “A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.”
  • Michel Eyquem De Montaigne
    “It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.”
  • Jules Renard
    “Socialism must come down from the brain and reach the heart.”
  • Robert A. Cook
    Robert A. Cook
    “Say and do something positive that will help the situation; it doesn't take any brains to complain.”
  • John Keats
    “When I have fears that I may cease to be, Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain.”
  • Benjamin Franklin
    “Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest.”


Beat your brains out - If you beat your brains out, you think hard about something but cannot solve, understand or remember it.
Bird-brain - Someone who has a bird-brain, or is bird-brained, is stupid.
Brain drain - When organisations or countries can pay higher salaries to attract talented people from poorer countries, there's a brain drain, a loss of talent.
Brain surgery - If something is not brain surgery, it isn't very complicated or difficult to understand or master.
Feather-brained - Som eone who's feather-brained is silly, empty-headed and not serious.
Pick someone's brains - If you pick someone's brains, you ask them for advice, suggestions and information about something they know about.
Rack your brain - If you rack your brain, you think very hard when trying to remember something or think hard to solve a problem, findf and answer, etc. ('Rack your brains' is an alternative.)


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. brain, brein, AS. bragen, brægen,; akin to LG. brägen, bregen, D. brein, and perh. to Gr. bre`gma brechmo`s, the upper part of head, if β = φ. √95


In literature:

Suddenly a thought flashed through his brain.
"The One-Way Trail" by Ridgwell Cullum
The young captain stood quite still, listening, probing his puzzled brain.
"Astounding Stories, February, 1931" by Various
The higher clairvoyance, the only true "clear seeing," is associated with the cerebro-spinal nervous system and its seat is in the brain.
"Elementary Theosophy" by L. W. Rogers
But Rex had a clever brain; he meant to think of some plan out of the present difficulty.
"Daisy Brooks" by Laura Jean Libbey
Fear paralyzes the brain.
"The Ghosts" by Robert G. Ingersoll
He could not jeopardize the success of his promise to the brains.
"The Passing of Ku Sui" by Anthony Gilmore
The tubercles occur on the membranes of the brain as well as in the substance of the brain itself.
"Special Report on Diseases of Cattle" by U.S. Department of Agriculture
His ears burned and his brain throbbed.
"Carmen Ariza" by Charles Francis Stocking
One fact kept burning into his brain like fire.
"Hope Mills" by Amanda M. Douglas
The moment of depression could not last, for there was too much here to fill brain and eyes.
"Astounding Stories, May, 1931" by Various

In poetry:

"And the prisoned light
I free again:
It flows in might
Through my shining brain
"Abu Midjan" by George MacDonald
Now I've grown older,
My nerves I restrain.
My pulses are colder,
And clearer my brain.
"Fear" by Gamaliel Bradford
But strange that I was not told
That the brain can hold
In a tiny ivory cell
God's heaven and hell.
"Roses and Rue" by Oscar Wilde
You were made to challenge
The world with your brain.
(God, take him quickly,
Before I die of pain!)
"The Dumb Wife Speaks" by Benjamin Musser
Success is at the top, boys,
Waiting there until
Brain, and pluck, and self respect,
Have mounted up the hill.
"A Chat With the Boys" by Frank Barbour Coffin
Weary gyves. What were you
But a word in the brains ways,
Or the sleep of Circes swine.
One gyve holds you yet.
"Girl To A Soldier On leave" by Isaac Rosenberg

In news:

The left brain is rational, logical, verbal, intellectual and analytical, whereas the right brain is intuitive, holistic, integrative, nonverbal and creative.
You may not be familiar with the hemispheres of the brain , but generally speaking, the left side of the brain performs certain functions and the right side performs others.
But those halves, the left brain and the right brain , are (theoretically) doing different things.
If you need some — plastic brains, rubber brains, foam brains — Dapper Cadaver horror prop shop in Sun Valley is the place to go.
Feelings of malaise, low mood and muddled thinking go hand-in-hand with having a cold and may be due to changes deep inside the brain instead of the cold symptoms themselves, says a study in Brain, Behavior and Immunity.
If sexual orientation is determined by brain dominance as Olson contends, it's important to note that the pathways connecting the two hemispheres of the brain and determining which side is dominant are mostly finalized before birth.
Inhibitory control can be boosted with a mild form of brain stimulation, according to a study published in the June 2011 issue of Neuroimage, Elsevier's Journal of Brain Function.
A rare set of high-resolution readouts taken directly from the wired-in brains of epileptics has provided an unprecedented look at how the brain processes language.
He learned from experience that, "you can't approach a marketing problem with your left brain or your right brain alone," he says.
"That's because boys' brains are bigger than girls' brains.".
A study finds that even in recovery, their brains don't react as strongly to emotional expressions as nonalcoholics' brains do.
Knowledge of basic brain embryology provides the foundation for making diagnoses of brain malformations, heritable diseases, congenital neoplasms and even disorders of postnatal development.
AP Photo Former NFL star Junior Seau committed suicide earlier this year -- his brain was donated to scientists studying brain trauma.
Ann Coulter, author of "If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans," and if Ann Coulter had any brains, she would not say Jews need to be perfected .
"It's not just positive thinking but for positive actions," said Oxford University cognitive neuroscientist Elaine Fox, author of the book, Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain.

In science:

In the conventional biophysical approach to understanding cognitive processes, it has been generally accepted that the brain can be modeled, according to the principles of classical physics, as a neural network [1–5].
Quantum Computation in Brain Microtubules? Decoherence and Biological Feasibility
Recently, Tegmark has responded to this and other models of brain function invoking a quantum element by contending that the relevant degrees of freedom cannot reasonably be sufficiently shielded from environmental, and particularly thermal, influence to maintain quantum coherence until self-collapse.
Quantum Computation in Brain Microtubules? Decoherence and Biological Feasibility
The survival of a delicate quantum coherence in the ‘warm, wet and noisy’ milieu of the brain long enough for quantum computation to play a neurophysiological role therefore seems unlikely to many observers.
Quantum Computation in Brain Microtubules? Decoherence and Biological Feasibility
But processes and units comprised of degrees of freedom are as susceptible to James’ complaint as is the physical substance of the brain – none of these constitute, in a thoroughly classical understanding of cognition, more than a convenience.
Quantum Computation in Brain Microtubules? Decoherence and Biological Feasibility
Tegmark – processes occurring in the extended space of the brain.
Quantum Computation in Brain Microtubules? Decoherence and Biological Feasibility