Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Surgical incision into the frontal lobe of the brain to sever one or more nerve tracts, a technique formerly used to treat certain mental disorders but now rarely performed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A surgical operation on the frontal lobe of the brain intent on treating certain mental illnesses.
  • n. The severing of the prefrontal cortex from the thalamic region of the brain.
  • n. The severing of the sympathetic nerve trunk.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The surgical interruption of nerve tracts to and from the frontal lobe of the brain, by cutting into the brain.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. surgical interruption of nerve tracts to and from the frontal lobe of the brain; often results in marked cognitive and personality changes

Etymologies

lobe + -tomy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek λοβός (lobos, "lobe (of the brain)") + τομή (tome, "cute, slice"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • The "bottle in front of me" line is a classic example of chiasmus.

    June 3, 2007

  • Dorothy Parker, I believe.

    March 2, 2007

  • Hey, my dad's older than Tom Waits! And he's pithy, too!

    March 2, 2007

  • No, this song/saying is WAY older than Tom Waits. Although he did say it most pithily.

    March 2, 2007

  • What? Tom Waits?? All this time I thought it was my dad. ;-)

    March 2, 2007

  • "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy."

    --attributed to Tom Waits, I believe

    March 2, 2007