noun, plural ep·i·glot·tis·es, ep·i·glot·ti·des [ep-i-glot-i-deez] /ˌɛp ɪˈglɒt ɪˌdiz/. Anatomy.

a thin, valvelike, cartilaginous structure that covers the glottis during swallowing, preventing the entrance of food and drink into the larynx.

Nearby words

  1. epigenous,
  2. epigeous,
  3. epiglottic cartilage,
  4. epiglottic fold,
  5. epiglottidectomy,
  6. epiglottitis,
  7. epignathous,
  8. epigon,
  9. epigone,
  10. epigoni

Origin of epiglottis

1605–15; < Greek epiglōttís; see epi-, glottis

Related formsep·i·glot·tal, ep·i·glot·tic, ep·i·glot·tid·e·an [ep-i-glo-tid-ee-uh n] /ˌɛp ɪ glɒˈtɪd i ən/, adjectivesub·ep·i·glot·tal, adjectivesub·ep·i·glot·tic, adjective

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Examples from the Web for epiglottis

British Dictionary definitions for epiglottis


noun plural -tises or -tides (-tɪˌdiːz)

a thin cartilaginous flap that covers the entrance to the larynx during swallowing, preventing food from entering the trachea
Derived Formsepiglottal or 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

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

Medicine definitions for epiglottis



n. pl. ep•i•glot•tis•es

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.
Related formsep′i•glottic adj.

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

Science definitions for epiglottis



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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.