palatine artery

n.
  1. An artery with origin in the facial artery, with distribution to the lateral walls of the pharynx, tonsils, auditory tubes, and soft palate; and with anastomoses to a branch of the facial, lingual, and descending palatine arteries; ascending palatine artery.
  2. An artery with origin in the maxillary artery, with distribution to the soft palate, gums, and bones and mucous membrane of the hard palate; and with anastomoses to the sphenopalatine, palatine, pharyngeal, and tonsillar branches of the facial arteries; descending palatine artery.
  3. An artery that is the anterior branch of the descending palatine artery, supplying the gums and mucous membrane of the hard palate; major palatine artery.
  4. An artery that is of the descending palatine artery in the greater palatine canal, with distribution to the soft palate and tonsils; minor palatine artery.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.