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[ser-uh-bel-uh m] /ˌsɛr əˈbɛl əm/
noun, plural cerebellums, cerebella
[ser-uh-bel-uh] /ˌsɛr əˈbɛl ə/ (Show IPA).
Anatomy, Zoology
a large portion of the brain, serving to coordinate voluntary movements, posture, and balance in humans, being in back of and below the cerebrum and consisting of two lateral lobes and a central lobe.
Origin of cerebellum
1555-65; < Latin: brain, diminutive of cerebrum; see cerebrum; for formation, see castellum
Related forms
cerebellar, adjective
postcerebellar, adjective
precerebellar, adjective
subcerebellar, adjective
supercerebellar, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cerebellum
  • Three large structures stand out: the cerebrum, the cerebellum and the brain stem.
  • The posterior fossa is a small space in the skull, found near the brain stem and cerebellum.
  • Fortunately, although much about the cerebellum is mysterious, enough is known for such features to have been identified.
  • Surgery may be needed, especially if there is bleeding in the cerebellum.
  • The flavor is less a flavor and more an experience: a swift punch to the cerebellum.
  • The second largest part of the brain is the cerebellum, which sits beneath the back of the cerebrum.
  • The brains of reptiles correspond more or less to the structures known in mammals as the brain stem and the cerebellum.
  • Third, unique human expression patterns were more common in the prefrontal cortex than in the cerebellum.
  • Ataxic gait-inability to walk a straight line-suggests damage to the cerebellum, the brain's coordination center.
  • For this study, they placed the scope over the cerebellum, the brain area involved in motor coordination.
British Dictionary definitions for cerebellum


noun (pl) -lums, -la (-lə)
one of the major divisions of the vertebrate brain, situated in man above the medulla oblongata and beneath the cerebrum, whose function is coordination of voluntary movements and maintenance of bodily equilibrium
Derived Forms
cerebellar, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, diminutive of cerebrum
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cerebellum

1560s, from Latin cerebellum "a small brain," diminutive of cerebrum "brain" (see cerebral).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cerebellum in Medicine

cerebellum cer·e·bel·lum (sěr'ə-běl'əm)
n. pl. cer·e·bel·lums or cer·e·bel·la (-běl'ə)
The trilobed structure of the brain, lying posterior to the pons and medulla oblongata and inferior to the occipital lobes of the cerebral hemispheres, responsible for the regulation and coordination of complex voluntary muscular movement and the maintenance of posture and balance.

cer'e·bel'lar (-běl'ər) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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cerebellum in Science
Plural cerebellums or cerebella
The part of the vertebrate brain that is located below the cerebrum at the rear of the skull and that coordinates balance and muscle activity. In mammals, the cerebellum is made up of two connecting hemispheres that consist of a core of white matter surrounded by gray matter.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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cerebellum in Culture
cerebellum [(ser-uh-bel-uhm)]

The part of the brain that helps control muscle coordination.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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