epiglottis

noun

epi·​glot·​tis ˌe-pə-ˈglä-təs How to pronounce epiglottis (audio)
: 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 In humans, food and air start along the same path in the mouth, then the trachea (or windpipe) branches off at the back of the throat where the epiglottis prevents food from entering the trachea and channels swallowed food along its proper route, the esophagus. Elsbeth Sites, Discover Magazine, 24 Feb. 2015 In 2019, Omaha Beach missed the race because of an entrapped epiglottis, which affected his breathing. Beth Harris, ajc, 6 May 2023 Three days before the 2019 Derby, favored Omaha Beach was eliminated by an entrapped epiglottis that affected his breathing and required surgical repair. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 2 Sep. 2020 Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella was admittedly devastated after scratching favorite Omaha Beach days before the 2019 Derby because of an entrapped epiglottis. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 29 Sep. 2020 The top of the epiglottis came into view, drooping like a rose petal. Tony Dajer, Discover Magazine, 22 July 2015 At the turn of the new century, Washington, general, President, and Founding Father, would be felled by a final infection of a tiny flap of tissue in the throat, the epiglottis. Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 8 Nov. 2016 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'epiglottis.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near epiglottis

Cite this Entry

“Epiglottis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epiglottis. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

epiglottis

noun
epi·​glot·​tis ˌep-ə-ˈglät-əs How to pronounce epiglottis (audio)
: a thin plate of flexible cartilage in front of the glottis that folds back over and protects the glottis during swallowing
epiglottal
-ˈglät-ᵊl
adjective

Medical Definition

epiglottis

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

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