Preface: Beware that Spanish (eg: los planos coronales) and Portuguese also derive from the Latin corona; so this question transcends English etymology.

The term is derived from Latin corona (“garland, crown”), from Ancient Greek κορώνη (korōnē, “garland, wreath”).

How does the crown relate to the front? Please expose and explain the hidden, missing semantic drifts and links. How should the etymology be interpreted, to connect the ulterior acceptation with the original meaning?

  • 1
    front Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 23:57
  • @StoneyB Thanks. Anywhere particular to which you were referring?
    – user5306
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 17:05
  • That's a metaphor: imagine a sort of a narrow headband that goes from one ear across the top to the other ear, -- and you'll get your coronal plane. Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 9:18

3 Answers 3


It more or less corresponds to the plane defined by the frontal bone. If you wear a garland or crown, that is where it sits.


A crown in head would define the horisontal plane. However, the coronal plane is same as frontal plane and as far as I know it is named by the coronal sutures (sutura coronalia) of the skull.


Some of the confusion surrounding the translation of corona as a crown can be put to bed if we understand that corona is also a circle of light, like the holy crown or halo as depicted in the following artwork (for example):


When we envision the circle of light surrounding a deity we immediately see the line that defines the coronal plane.

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