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noun, plural pha·ryn·ges [fuh-rin-jeez] /fəˈrɪn dʒiz/, phar·ynx·es. Anatomy.
  1. the tube or cavity, with its surrounding membrane and muscles, that connects the mouth and nasal passages with the esophagus.

Origin of pharynx

1685–95; < New Latin < Greek phárynx throat, akin to pháranx gulf, chasm Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of pharynx

British Dictionary definitions for pharynx


noun plural pharynges (fæˈrɪndʒiːz) or pharynxes
  1. the part of the alimentary canal between the mouth and the oesophagusCompare nasopharynx Related adjective: pharyngeal

Word Origin for pharynx

C17: via New Latin from Greek pharunx throat; related to Greek pharanx chasm
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 pharynx

1690s, from Greek pharynx (genitive pharyngos) "windpipe, throat," related to pharanx "cleft, chasm."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pharynx in Medicine


n. pl. phar•ynx•es
  1. The upper section of the alimentary canal that extends from the mouth and nasal cavities to the larynx.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

pharynx in Science


Plural pharynges (fə-rĭnjēz) pharynxes
  1. The passage that leads from the cavities of the nose and mouth to the larynx (voice box) and esophagus. Air passes through the pharynx on the way to the lungs, and food enters the esophagus from the pharynx.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.