New Latin pharyng-, pharynx, from Greek, throat, pharynx; akin to Old Norse barki throat and probably to Latin ferire to strike — more at bore
First Known Use: 1677
Medical Definition of PHARYNX
: the part of the digestive and respiratory tracts situated between the cavity of the mouth and the esophagus and in humans being a conical musculomembranous tube about four and a half inches (11.43 centimeters) long that is continuous above with the mouth and nasal passages, communicates through the eustachian tubes with the ears, and extends downward past the opening into the larynx to the lower border of the cricoid cartilage where it is continuous with the esophagus—see laryngopharynx, nasopharynx, oropharynx
Illustration of PHARYNX
Inside of the throat, from the oral and nasal cavities (seemouth, nose) to the trachea and esophagus. It has three connected sections: the nasopharynx, at the back of the nasal cavity; the oropharynx, in the back of the oral cavity down to the epiglottis (a flap of tissue that closes off the larynx during swallowing); and the laryngopharynx, from the epiglottis to the esophagus. The oropharynx contains the palatine tonsils. The eustachian tubes connect the middle ears to the pharynx, allowing air pressure on the eardrum to be equalized. Disorders include pharyngitis, tonsillitis, and cancer.