cleft palate


: congenital fissure of the roof of the mouth

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Jacquetta was born with birth defects that prevented her from breathing, swallowing, or crying on her own, as well as a cleft palate and lip and deformities to one of her eyes and one hand. Jamie Ducharme, Time, 16 Nov. 2022 In 2013, investigators returned to the case, sending her skull to be scanned for 3D reconstruction, and learned the victim had a cleft palate. Fox News, 21 July 2022 Medical papers have linked it to all kinds of issues in infants, including neglect, poverty, and diseases as varied as cerebral palsy, cleft palate, cystic fibrosis, and gastroesophageal reflux. Eric Boodman, STAT, 12 July 2022 The two were quick to jump into supporting a joint cause, lending their star power to the #Search4Smiles campaign to benefit the nonprofit Smile Train, which provides free cleft palate surgeries to those in need. Jolene Latimer,, 1 July 2022 Being an ugly woman, or simply a woman who experienced her body dysphorically, was not a crisis on par with battlefield disfigurements, disease mutations or congenital anomalies that had clinical names like a cleft palate or gigantomastia. New York Times, 10 May 2022 The hospital came to Indianapolis in 1869, and was one of the first in the country to treat a variety of congenital deformities like cleft palate, club foot and more. Claire Rafford, The Indianapolis Star, 18 Mar. 2022 In the 15th century readers meet Anna, an orphan in Constantinople, and Omeir, a boy with a cleft palate in the Rhodope Mountains of Bulgaria. Diana Furchtgott-roth, Forbes, 30 Dec. 2021 The boy pharaoh Tutankhamen, who died around 1324 BC, suffered from a host of conditions including a club foot and cleft palate, but malaria was likely what killed him. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, 15 Oct. 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1847, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cleft palate was in 1847

Dictionary Entries Near cleft palate

Cite this Entry

“Cleft palate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

cleft palate


: a split in the roof of the mouth that occurs as a birth defect

Medical Definition

cleft palate


: congenital fissure of the roof of the mouth produced by failure of the two maxillae to unite during embryonic development and often associated with cleft lip

called also palatoschisis

More from Merriam-Webster on cleft palate

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