epi·​glot·​tis | \ ˌe-pə-ˈglä-təs How to pronounce epiglottis (audio) \

Definition of epiglottis

: a thin plate of flexible cartilage in front of the glottis that folds back over and protects the glottis during swallowing

Examples of epiglottis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web All of that effort distracts the nerves that are responsible for the diaphragm and epiglottis, called the phrenic and vagus nerves. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 June 2021 If an underlying infection has caused the epiglottis to become inflamed, thus causing epiglottitis, a course of antibiotics might be prescribed to treat the condition, per the NHS. Maggie O'neill, Health.com, 2 Nov. 2020 The device lifts the epiglottis, exposing the vocal cords. Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker, 28 Dec. 2020 The inflammation of the epiglottis, which can lead to epiglottitis, is often caused by bacteria, per MedlinePlus. Maggie O'neill, Health.com, 2 Nov. 2020 Epiglottitis is a rare and potentially life-threatening condition in which the epiglottis, that little bit of cartilage that covers and protects your windpipe, becomes inflamed, the Mayo Clinic explains. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, 2 Nov. 2020 When a singer sings this high, the epiglottis closes over the larynx, making the mechanics impossible to film with a medical camera and therefore beyond scientific study. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, 9 Oct. 2020 This maneuver lifts the epiglottis and brings the vocal cords into view. Clayton Dalton, The New Yorker, 27 May 2020 The girl was taken to University Medical Center, where she was hospitalized for four days with injuries and burns to her epiglottis, throat, tongue, lips and surrounding areas, according to the complaint. NBC News, 9 Jan. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of epiglottis

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for epiglottis

New Latin, from Greek epiglōttis, from epi- + glōttis glottis

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The first known use of epiglottis was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Epiglottis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epiglottis. Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for epiglottis


epi·​glot·​tis | \ ˌep-ə-ˈglät-əs How to pronounce epiglottis (audio) \

Medical Definition of epiglottis

: a thin lamella of yellow elastic cartilage that ordinarily projects upward behind the tongue and just in front of the glottis and that with the arytenoid cartilages serves to cover the glottis during the act of swallowing

More from Merriam-Webster on epiglottis

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about epiglottis


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