lar·​ynx | \ ˈler-iŋ(k)s How to pronounce larynx (audio) , ˈla-riŋ(k)s \
plural larynges\ lə-​ˈrin-​(ˌ)jēz How to pronounce larynges (audio) \ or larynxes

Definition of larynx

: the modified upper part of the trachea of air-breathing vertebrates that in humans, most other mammals, and some amphibians and reptiles contains the vocal cords

Examples of larynx in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For decades, neuroscientists thought nonhuman primates couldn’t speak because their hyoid bone—found near the larynx—is situated differently than ours. Jessica Boddy, Popular Science, "If monkeys could speak, they’d probably be trolls," 2 Feb. 2020 Per the ’s Ben Guarino, Howard and his colleagues used a CT scan of Nesyamun’s —a biologically unique speech-supporting tube that stretches from the larynx to the lips—to 3-D print a copy of his throat. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "Listen to the Recreated Voice of a 3,000-Year-Old Egyptian Mummy," 24 Jan. 2020 The researchers then synthesized Nesyamun’s voice by 3D printing a model of his airway and connecting it to an electronic larynx, an artificial voice box that provides a noise source. Erin Malsbury, Science | AAAS, "The dead speak! Scientists re-create voice of 3000-year-old mummy," 23 Jan. 2020 The human larynx is much lower, relative to cervical vertebrae, than that of our ancestors and other primates. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian, "Human Ancestors May Have Evolved the Physical Ability to Speak More Than 25 Million Years Ago," 11 Dec. 2019 So over the course of evolution, the larynx in the human line has moved lower in our throats, opening up a much larger pharyngeal cavity than found in other primates. Louis-jean Boë, The Conversation, "Examining how primates make vowel sounds pushes timeline for speech evolution back by 27 million years," 11 Dec. 2019 Baden, in an interview first aired on Fox & Friends Wednesday, announced his own findings: that Epstein, who was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell on Aug. 10, had two fractures on the left and right sides of his larynx. al, "Jeffrey Epstein was likely murdered, famous pathologist says," 30 Oct. 2019 The Adam's apple is outwardly protruding thyroid cartilage surrounding the larynx. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "What can a tiny bone tell us about Jeffrey Epstein's death?," 10 Aug. 2019 Take, for instance, one of Higbee’s most frequent riders, David Fitzgibbons, who required 31 consecutive days of radiation treatment for larynx cancer last winter after being diagnosed with the throat disease a couple of days before Christmas. Nelson Coffin,, "Driving Force: Towson resident delivers cancer patients to treatment through Road to Recovery program," 4 Sep. 2019

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

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First Known Use of larynx

1578, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for larynx

New Latin laryng-, larynx, from Greek

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Time Traveler for larynx

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The first known use of larynx was in 1578

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Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Larynx.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for larynx


How to pronounce larynx (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of larynx

medical : the part of your throat that contains the vocal cords


lar·​ynx | \ ˈler-iŋks How to pronounce larynx (audio) \
plural larynges\ lə-​ˈrin-​ˌjēz \ or larynxes

Kids Definition of larynx

: the upper part of the trachea that contains the vocal cords


lar·​ynx | \ ˈlar-iŋ(k)s How to pronounce larynx (audio) \
plural larynges\ lə-​ˈrin-​(ˌ)jēz How to pronounce larynges (audio) \ or larynxes

Medical Definition of larynx

: the modified upper part of the respiratory passage of air-breathing vertebrates that is bounded above by the glottis, is continuous below with the trachea, has a complex cartilaginous or bony skeleton capable of limited motion through the action of associated muscles, and in humans, most other mammals, and a few lower forms has a set of elastic vocal cords that play a major role in sound production and speech

called also voice box

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More from Merriam-Webster on larynx

Spanish Central: Translation of larynx

Nglish: Translation of larynx for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of larynx for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about larynx

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