glot·​tis | \ ˈglä-təs How to pronounce glottis (audio) \
plural glottises or glottides\ ˈglä-​tə-​ˌdēz How to pronounce glottis (audio) \

Definition of glottis

: the elongated space between the vocal cords also : the structures that surround this space — compare epiglottis

Examples of glottis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Your glottis, which is the space between your vocal cords, then closes, preventing any further air from entering. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 23 July 2022 The bulge seen during these big, leisurely yawns, is called glottis exposure. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, 1 Sep. 2021 These big, open passages inside the mouth cavity, namely the glottis and the Eustachian tubes, allow sound to pass through the animal and reach the eardrums from the inside as well as the more traditional external route. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Mar. 2021 But when the glottis is closed, the air can’t move out, so tremendous pressure builds up in the air passages. Howard Lewine,, 2 Oct. 2019 Finally, the glottis swings open and the air rushes out. Howard Lewine,, 2 Oct. 2019 Next, the glottis snaps shut, putting a lid over the trachea, or windpipe. Howard Lewine,, 2 Oct. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of glottis

1578, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for glottis

borrowed from Greek glōttid-, glōttís "upper end of the trachea at the root of the tongue," from glôtta, Attic variant of glôssa "tongue" + -id-, -is, noun suffix — more at gloss entry 3

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Time Traveler for glottis

Time Traveler

The first known use of glottis was in 1578

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Dictionary Entries Near glottis

glottal stop



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Last Updated

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Glottis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for glottis


glot·​tis | \ ˈglät-əs How to pronounce glottis (audio) \
plural glottises or glottides\ -​ə-​ˌdēz How to pronounce glottis (audio) \

Medical Definition of glottis

: the space between one of the true vocal cords and the arytenoid cartilage on one side of the larynx and those of the other side also : the structures that surround this space — compare epiglottis

More from Merriam-Webster on glottis

Nglish: Translation of glottis for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about glottis


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