The two oval-shaped masses of tissue at the back of the throat that lie between the mouth and the pharynx. The tonsils are thought to prevent infections of the breathing passages but often become infected themselves.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
How to use tonsils in a sentence
Think the Frogtown settlers rinsed their tonsils with something that was “too wet to plow and too thick to drink”?
Here's a transcript in case you're at the vet waiting for your cat's tonsils to be removed.
The procedure is now the most common surgery performed in the U.S.—more common than getting your tonsils or appendix removed.
Vincent's angina is a chronic pseudomembranous and ulcerative inflammation of pharynx and tonsils.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
The uvula, the pillars of the palate, and the tonsils are parts of the structure.The Child-Voice in Singing | Francis E. Howard
Almonds (′mundz), the tonsils or glands of the throat, so called from their resemblance to the fruit of the almond-tree.
Quinsy, kwin′zi, n. an inflammatory affection of the substance of the tonsils, attended when fully developed by suppuration.
If present, tonsils can be conveniently removed at this stage.
Cultural definitions for tonsils
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.