tonsil

[ ton-suh l ]
/ ˈtɒn səl /
|

noun Anatomy.

a prominent oval mass of lymphoid tissue on each side of the throat.

Origin of tonsil

First recorded in 1595–1605, tonsil is from the Latin word tōnsillae (plural) the tonsils

Related forms

ton·sil·lar, ton·sil·ar, ton·sil·lar·y [ton-suh-ler-ee] /ˈtɒn səˌlɛr i/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tonsils

British Dictionary definitions for tonsils

tonsil

/ (ˈtɒnsəl) /

noun

Also called: palatine tonsil either of two small masses of lymphatic tissue situated one on each side of the back of the mouthRelated adjective: amygdaline
anatomy any small rounded mass of tissue, esp lymphatic tissue

Derived Forms

tonsillar or tonsillary, adjective

Word Origin for tonsil

C17: from Latin tōnsillae (pl) tonsils, of uncertain origin
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

Medicine definitions for tonsils

tonsil

[ tŏnsəl ]

n.

A collection of lymphoid tissue.
A small oral mass of lymphoid tissue, especially either of two such masses embedded in the lateral walls of the opening between the mouth and the pharynx, of uncertain function, but believed to help protect the body from respiratory infections.faucial tonsil palatine tonsil

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for tonsils

tonsils

[ tŏnsəlz ]

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.

Culture definitions for tonsils

tonsils

Two masses of tissue on either side of the throat. The tonsils, part of the lymphatic system, help defend the body against harmful microorganisms.


Note

Formerly, tonsils were often removed surgically in childhood, but now they are not, unless the tonsils have grown too large or are continually subject to infection.
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.