• synonyms


noun, plural sy·rin·ges [suh-rin-jeez] /səˈrɪn dʒiz/, syr·inx·es.
  1. Ornithology. the vocal organ of birds, situated at or near the bifurcation of the trachea into the bronchi.
  2. (initial capital letter) Classical Mythology. a mountain nymph of Arcadia who was transformed, in order to protect her chastity from Pan, into the reed from which Pan then made the panpipe.
  3. a panpipe.
  4. a narrow corridor in an ancient Egyptian tomb.
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Origin of syrinx

1600–10; (< Latin) < Greek sŷrinx pipe, pipelike object
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for syrinx

Historical Examples of syrinx

  • This is the story of Syrinx, the reed, as Ovid has told it to us.

    A Book of Myths

    Jean Lang

  • Fearless, and without a care or sorrow, Syrinx passed her happy days.

  • They are chansons sans paroles, sung to the syrinx in Sicilian glades.

    Adventures in the Arts

    Marsden Hartley

  • You expect the syrinx to unfold the story of the reed in light song.

    Adventures in the Arts

    Marsden Hartley

  • Full well they knew the syrinx had fallen, and Nika was gone—for ever.


    Richard Short

British Dictionary definitions for syrinx


noun plural syringes (sɪˈrɪndʒiːz) or syrinxes
  1. the vocal organ of a bird, which is situated in the lower part of the trachea
  2. (in classical Greek music) a panpipe or set of panpipes
  3. anatomy another name for the Eustachian tube
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Derived Formssyringeal (sɪˈrɪndʒɪəl), adjective

Word Origin for syrinx

C17: via Latin from Greek surinx pipe


  1. Greek myth a nymph who was changed into a reed to save her from the amorous pursuit of Pan. From this reed Pan then fashioned his musical pipes
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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 syrinx


c.1600, the instrument itself known from 14c. in English, from Late Latin syrinx, from Greek syrinx "shepherd's pipe." Used of vocal organs of birds from 1872.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

syrinx in Medicine


n. pl. syr•inx•es
  1. A pathological tube-shaped cavity in the brain or spinal cord.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.