Usually adenoids. an enlarged mass of lymphoid tissue in the upper pharynx, often obstructing breathing through the nasal passages.


of or relating to the lymph glands.
of or relating to the adenoids.

Nearby words

  1. adenofibromyoma,
  2. adenofibrosis,
  3. adenogenous,
  4. adenohypophysis,
  5. adenohypophysitis,
  6. adenoid cystic carcinoma,
  7. adenoid facies,
  8. adenoid squamous cell carcinoma,
  9. adenoid tissue,
  10. adenoidal

Origin of adenoid

From the Greek word adenoeidḗs, dating back to 1830–40. See aden-, -oid Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for adenoids

British Dictionary definitions for adenoids


pl n

a mass of lymphoid tissue at the back of the throat behind the uvula: when enlarged it often restricts nasal breathing, esp in young childrenTechnical name: pharyngeal tonsil



of or resembling a gland
of or relating to lymphoid tissue, as that found in the lymph nodes, spleen, tonsils, etc
of or relating to the adenoids

Word Origin for adenoid

C19: from Greek adenoeidēs. See adeno-, -oid

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

Word Origin and History for adenoids



1839, "gland-like," medical Latin adenoideus, from Greek adenoeides, from aden (genitive adenos) "gland" (see inguinal) + eidos "form" (see -oid). Adenoids "adenoid growths" attested by 1862.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for adenoids




A lymphoid tissue growth located at the back of the nose in the upper part of the throat that when swollen may obstruct normal breathing and make speech difficult.
adenoids Hypertrophy of the pharyngeal tonsil resulting from chronic inflammation.


Of, relating to, or resembling lymphatic glands or lymphatic tissue.
Related formsad′e•noidal (ăd′n-oidl) adj.

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

Science definitions for adenoids



The small mass of lymphoid tissue located at the back of the nasal cavity. Swelling of the adenoids can block breathing through the nose.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for adenoids


[(ad-n-oydz, ad-noydz)]

Two masses of tissue at the junction of the nose and throat, which, like the tonsils, function in the lymphatic system. They help filter out harmful microorganisms that can cause infection. Continually swollen adenoids may interfere with breathing and affect speech.


Adenoids are sometimes surgically removed along with the tonsils if they are persistently inflamed (see inflammation).


Swollen adenoids give a distinctive nasal sound to the voice.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.