Word of the Day Archive
Monday October 22, 2012
1. Without a leader or ruler.
2. Also, acephalic Zoology. headless; lacking a distinct head.
Some magicians, as Walter Scott, for instance, having appeared in the world, who combined all the five literary senses, such writers as had but one—wit or learning, style or feeling —these cripples, these acephalous, maimed or purblind creatures—in a literary sense—have taken to shrieking that all is lost, and have preached a crusade against men who were spoiling the business, or have denounced their works.
-- Honoré de Balzac, The Muse of the Department
Only one of my books is without a preface, — though some of them are disguised as notes, or forewords, or afterwords, — and I hereby apologize for the acephalous condition of that volume.
-- Cyrus Townsend Brady, Woven with the Ship
Acephalous stems from the Greek combining form -cephalous meaning "having a head or heads" and the prefix a- meaning "not, without."