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[kon-vuh-loo-shuh n] /ˌkɒn vəˈlu ʃən/
a rolled up or coiled condition.
a rolling or coiling together.
a turn of anything coiled; whorl.
Anatomy. one of the sinuous folds or ridges of the surface of the brain.
Origin of convolution
1535-45; < Latin convolūt- (see convolute) + -ion
Related forms
convolutional, convolutionary
[kon-vuh-loo-shuh-ner-ee] /ˌkɒn vəˈlu ʃəˌnɛr i/ (Show IPA),
3. twist, winding, sinuosity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for convolutions
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The contour of a peninsula is like the surface of the brain: in both it is convolutions that count.

    Influences of Geographic Environment Ellen Churchill Semple
  • The convolutions of the brain were narrow, and very strongly marked.

  • Her hair, in its dips and convolutions, was altogether a puzzle.

    Free Air Sinclair Lewis
  • The convolutions of the brain structure also appear during this month.

    Sex Henry Stanton
  • Henry had seen it before, but he observed it more closely now, with all its molded ridges and convolutions.

    The Keepers of the Trail Joseph A. Altsheler
  • In some cases all the convolutions are visible, as in Operculina (Fig. 16).

    The Ocean World: Louis Figuier
  • Shells and patty-pans of different shapes and convolutions suggest bakery plays, and mother must sample the baby's cookery.

  • Hence the intestine is forced to form coils or convolutions.

  • In reality they were the convolutions of a hernia containing the posterior ends of both cerebral hemispheres.

    Degeneracy Eugene S. Talbot
British Dictionary definitions for convolutions


a twisting together; a turn, twist, or coil
an intricate, involved, or confused matter or condition
Also called gyrus. any of the numerous convex folds or ridges of the surface of the brain
Derived Forms
convolutional, convolutionary, adjective
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 convolutions



1540s, from Latin convolutus, past participle of convolvere "to roll together," from com- "together" (see com-) + volvere "to roll" (see volvox).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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convolutions in Medicine

convolution con·vo·lu·tion (kŏn'və-lōō'shən)

  1. A form or part that is folded or coiled.

  2. One of the convex folds of the surface of the brain.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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