noun, plural max·il·lae [mak-sil-ee] /mækˈsɪl i/.
a jaw or jawbone, especially the upper.
one of the paired appendages immediately behind the mandibles of arthropods.
Origin of maxilla
1670–80; < New Latin, special use of Latin maxilla lower jaw, diminutive of māla (< *maxlā) upper jaw, cheekbone
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
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Historical Examples of maxilla
British Dictionary definitions for maxilla
noun plural -lae (-liː)
Derived Formsmaxillar (mækˈsɪlə) or maxillary, adjective
any member of one or two pairs of mouthparts in insects and other arthropods used as accessory jaws
Word Origin for maxilla
C17: New Latin, from Latin: jaw
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for maxilla
"jaw, jawbone," 1670s, from Latin maxilla "upper jaw," diminutive of mala "jaw, cheekbone." "Maxilla stands to mala as axilla, 'armpit,' stands to ala 'wing'" [Klein]. Related: Maxillar; maxilliform.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
n. pl. max•il•las
Either of a pair of irregularly shaped bones of the skull, fusing in the midline, supporting the upper teeth, and forming part of the eye sockets, hard palate, and nasal cavity; upper jaw.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Plural maxillae (măk-sĭl′ē) maxillas
The upper part of the jaw in vertebrate animals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.