ad·​e·​noid | \ ˈa-də-ˌnȯid How to pronounce adenoid (audio) , ˈad-ˌnȯid \

Definition of adenoid

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: either of two abnormally enlarged masses of lymphoid tissue at the back of the pharynx that usually obstruct the nasal and ear passages also : such a mass when not abnormally enlarged usually used in plural



Definition of adenoid (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of or relating to the adenoids
2 : relating to, affected with, or associated with abnormally enlarged adenoids a severe adenoid condition adenoid facies

Examples of adenoid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Discovered in human adenoid glands in 1953, adenoviruses have a number of features that lend themselves to drug delivery. John Lauerman,, 17 Oct. 2020 To make matters worse, Dominic is waiting for surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 15 Apr. 2020 New research has also shed light on the value of our tonsils and adenoids. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, 1 Mar. 2019 Jahi’s case, which drew national attention and launched a debate over how to define death, began in December 2013 when the 13-year-old underwent a routine surgery to remove her tonsils, adenoids and uvula. Alene Tchekmedyian,, 29 June 2018 Jahi went into cardiac arrest while recovering from surgery to remove her tonsils, adenoids and uvula along with bony structures from her nose and throat and palate tissue. CBS News, 6 Jan. 2014 Image More than 530,000 children have their tonsils or adenoids removed in the United States each year to prevent recurrent infections and sleep or breathing disorders. Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times, 7 June 2018 Also on the platform: the platinum-haired Draco Malfoy (Alex Price), once Harry’s sinister rival, and his nerdy son, Scorpius (Anthony Boyle, who leads with his adenoids in a show-stealing performance). Ben Brantley, New York Times, 22 Apr. 2018 Bro Hart appears as little more than adenoids and a phallus. Michael Friedrich, The New Republic, 9 Apr. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Thankfully, the tumor, though found to be cancerous adenoid carcinoma, was removed in time. Essence, 5 Nov. 2021 But Mike's junior year, he was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma and lost part of his face. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, The Indianapolis Star, 21 May 2020 Though the precise cause of death is unknown at the present time, in 2009 he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, adenoid cystic carcinoma, which affected his tongue. Sophie Dodd,, 5 Dec. 2019 Following her initial diagnosis 10 years ago, Gabe’s adenoid cystic carcinoma returned in 2016 and 2017, according to her website. Maria Pasquini,, 23 Aug. 2019 On Tuesday night, Gabriele Grunewald, known to the running community and far beyond as Gabe, died of complications due to adenoid cystic carcinoma. Tim Layden,, 11 June 2019 Grunewald, known by many in the running world as Gabe, ran with her own scar on her abdomen, a result of surgical treatment for adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare form of cancer. Nick Kelly,, 16 June 2019 The cause was adenoid cystic carcinoma, a form of cancer, said a son, Chris Mitchell. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, 14 June 2019 Gabriele Anderson Grunewald has died at age 32 after years of fighting adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare salivary gland cancer. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, 12 June 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adenoid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of adenoid


circa 1890, in the meaning defined above


1864, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adenoid


earlier, "a benign tumor (as of the breast)," borrowed from French adénoïde, short for tumeur adénoïde, literally, "adenoid (i.e., glandular) tumor" — more at adenoid entry 2


earlier, "of or relating to glands or glandular tissue," borrowed from French adénoïde, borrowed from New Latin adenoïdēs, borrowed from Greek adenoeidḗs "glandular," from aden-, adḗn "gland" + -oeidēs -oid entry 2 — more at adeno-

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The first known use of adenoid was in 1864

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Cite this Entry

“Adenoid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for adenoid


ad·​e·​noid | \ ˈad-ᵊn-ˌȯid, ˈad-ˌnȯid How to pronounce adenoid (audio) \

Medical Definition of adenoid

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, like, or relating to glands or glandular tissue especially : like or belonging to lymphoid tissue
2 : of or relating to the adenoids in the adenoid region of the pharynx
3a : of, relating to, or affected with abnormally enlarged adenoids a severe adenoid condition an adenoid patient
b : characteristic of one affected with abnormally enlarged adenoids adenoid facies



Medical Definition of adenoid (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an abnormally enlarged mass of lymphoid tissue at the back of the pharynx characteristically obstructing the nasal and ear passages and inducing mouth breathing, nasality, postnasal discharge, and dullness of facial expression usually used in plural

More from Merriam-Webster on adenoid

Nglish: Translation of adenoid for Spanish Speakers


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