Part of speech:
(Like “eat,” “try,” and “want,” all transitive verbs do something to an object.
You eat a banana, try a game, and want a new phone.
Likewise, something decerebrates someone or something.)
To cerebrate is to think: to use your brain.
And, to decerebrate someone or something is to remove its brain or to make it unable to think.
Decerebrated, decerebrating, decerebration.
"Decerebrate" is also an adjective, but you say it "dee SAIR uh brut."
(It's just like "separate," for example: note how you say "sep er ate" for the verb and "sep er ut" for the adjective.)
How to use it:
You might talk about literal, biological decerebration--decerebrated lab rats, decerebrating monkeys, and so on.
But that's sad, and irrelevant for us. We want the figurative usage. Something that decerebrates you dulls you, makes you stupid, or makes you act like a zombie.
For the adjective, use "decerebrate" or "decerebrated" as a more sophisticated and formal synonym of "brainless." You could say something suffers from decerebrate inflexibility, that someone relies on decerebrate arguments, that some marketing trick is so obvious that it will only work on decerebrated consumers, and so on.
You might ask why "decerebrate" has any use when we can just say "stupefy" for the verb and "unthinking," "brainless," or "thoughtless" for the adjective. Well, "decerebrate" gives your idea not just a more formal tone but also a biological flavor. As with all words on the rare and fancy side, you use it with discretion. Thankfully, "decerebrate" is likely to be understood by your listeners and readers even if they've never seen it before--they'll recognize the link to "cerebrum" (brain) and "cerebral" (brainy.)
My cat Layla is basically a sweet, floppy ragdoll, and she has this decerebrate habit of walking right up to our baby, who grabs Layla's fur at every opportunity.
Besides the friends I made there, not much at the one-hour photo I worked at in college is worth missing, especially not the decerebrating loop of easy listening songs that repeated every hour.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "decerebrate" means when you can explain it without saying “remove the brain" or "idiotic."
Think of a time you felt absolutely braindead, and fill in the blanks: "After being practically decerebrated by _____, all I could do was _____."
Example: "After being practically decerebrated by a three-hour PowerPoint lecture read off to us in a monotone, all I could do was stare at the screen, blink, and try not to go completely mad."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don't go straight to the review now;let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're reviewing recently featured words with some activities created with my favorite vocabulary software: Vocabulary Worksheet Factory, made by Schoolhouse Technologies. It's a simple, flexible program that lets you input word lists and definitions, then create customized, fun worksheets for review. We're starting off with very easy activities, then working our way toward harder reviews throughout the month.
Søren Kierkegaard: "Boredom is the root of all evil."
1. The opposite of DECEREBRATE is
2. I was _____ to find her on the couch after work, _____ and decerebrate.
A. amused .. hyper
B. encouraged .. excited
C. saddened .. expressionless
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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