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 New research has also shed light on the value of our tonsils and adenoids. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, "Are All Our Organs Vital?," 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,, "Jahi McMath, girl at center of debate over brain death, dies, mother says," 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, "Jahi McMath taken out of Oakland hospital in private ambulance, now in custody of mom," 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, "Tonsillectomy Risks May Outweigh Benefits," 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, "Review: ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Raises the Bar for Broadway Magic," 22 Apr. 2018 Bro Hart appears as little more than adenoids and a phallus. Michael Friedrich, The New Republic, "Men and Apparitions Dissects A Male Feminist’s Crisis," 9 Apr. 2018 It has frequently been used for pain relief after removal of tonsils and adenoids in children. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "FDA head calls for mandatory education, internet policing to fight opioid crisis," 4 Apr. 2018 Removal of the tonsils (tonsillectomy) and/or adenoids (adenoidectomy) may be recommended., "Teens and their tonsils: When do they need to be out?," 1 Mar. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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,, "Remembering the Stars We Lost in 2019," 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,, "Gabriele Grunewald’s Husband Says ‘Every Day Hurts Differently’ Following Her Death," 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,, "‘Brave Like Gabe’: Remembering the Runner Who Never Gave Up in the Face of an Unbeatable Opponent," 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,, "Athletes reflect on the life of Gabriele Grunewald," 16 June 2019 The cause was adenoid cystic carcinoma, a form of cancer, said a son, Chris Mitchell. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "R. Clayton Mitchell Jr., former speaker of Maryland House, dies at 83," 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, "Professional Distance Runner Gabriele 'Gabe' Grunewald Has Died at 32," 12 June 2019 Grunewald was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) -- an extremely rare cancer usually found in the salivary glands of the head and neck -- in 2009, but still pursued her career in middle distance running. George Ramsay, CNN, "Gabriele Grunewald: Professional runner inspired 'hope' in cancer fight," 12 June 2019 Basketball Player Lauren Hill Dies After Battle With Cancer Following her initial diagnosis ten years ago, Gabe’s adenoid cystic carcinoma returned in 2016 and 2017, according to her website. Joelle Goldstein,, "Marathon Runner Gabriele 'Gabe' Grunewald Dies at 32 After Decade-Long Battle with Cancer," 12 June 2019

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.

See More

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 aden-

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about adenoid

Time Traveler for adenoid

Time Traveler

The first known use of adenoid was in 1864

See more words from the same year

Statistics for adenoid

Cite this Entry

“Adenoid.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with adenoid

Nglish: Translation of adenoid for Spanish Speakers

Comments on adenoid

What made you want to look up adenoid? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be intimidated or subdued

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!