Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[ep-i-glot-is] /ˌɛp ɪˈglɒt ɪs/
noun, plural epiglottises, epiglottides
[ep-i-glot-i-deez] /ˌɛp ɪˈglɒt ɪˌdiz/ (Show IPA).
a thin, valvelike, cartilaginous structure that covers the glottis during swallowing, preventing the entrance of food and drink into the larynx.
Origin of epiglottis
1605-15; < Greek epiglōttís; see epi-, glottis
Related forms
epiglottal, epiglottic, epiglottidean
[ep-i-glo-tid-ee-uh n] /ˌɛp ɪ glɒˈtɪd i ən/ (Show IPA),
subepiglottal, adjective
subepiglottic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for epiglottis
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for epiglottis


noun (pl) -tises, -tides (-tɪˌdiːz)
a thin cartilaginous flap that covers the entrance to the larynx during swallowing, preventing food from entering the trachea
Derived Forms
epiglottal, epiglottic, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for epiglottis

1520s, from Late Latin epiglottis, from Greek epiglottis, literally "(that which is) upon the tongue," from epi "on" (see epi-) + glottis, from glotta, variant of glossa "tongue" (see gloss (n.2)). An earlier form was epiglote (c.1400), from Old French epiglotte. Related: Epiglottic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
epiglottis in Medicine

epiglottis ep·i·glot·tis (ěp'ĭ-glŏt'ĭs)
n. pl. ep·i·glot·tis·es or ep·i·glot·ti·des (-glŏt'ĭ-dēz')
The thin elastic cartilaginous structure located at the root of the tongue that folds over the glottis to prevent food and liquid from entering the trachea during the act of swallowing.

ep'i·glot'tic adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
epiglottis in Science
A thin, triangular plate of cartilage at the base of the tongue that covers the glottis during swallowing to keep food from entering the trachea.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for epiglottis

Difficulty index for epiglottis

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for epiglottis

Scrabble Words With Friends