lar·​ynx | \ ˈler-iŋ(k)s How to pronounce larynx (audio) , ˈla-riŋ(k)s \
plural larynges\ lə-​ˈrin-​(ˌ)jēz How to pronounce larynx (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 But once again this apparently bizarre arrangement results both from our evolutionary origins—the lungs began as an offshoot of the digestive system—and from the requirement for a descended larynx. Adrian Woolfson, WSJ, 31 May 2021 But some studies cast doubt on whether Neandertals’ anatomy was suitable for producing the sounds of speech: their larynx was shaped differently than that of modern humans. Jan Osterkamp, Scientific American, 8 Mar. 2021 The trachea, or windpipe, is the tube that connects the larynx to the lungs and is essential for speaking, breathing, and normal lung function, according to a news release from Mount Sinai. David Williams, CNN, 6 Apr. 2021 Our two ears are mostly independent of each other, but frogs’ two eardrums are connected through their larynx, meaning that one eardrum can hear sounds passed through the other eardrum. Rahul Rao, Popular Science, 8 Mar. 2021 In January, scientists recreated the voice of an ancient, 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy using 3D printing, medical scanners and an electronic larynx, a study said. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 22 Dec. 2020 Something similar happens higher up in the respiratory tract, in the sound-producing larynx. Fedor Kossakovski, National Geographic, 27 Oct. 2020 Everything else — a pair of home-plate collisions this season, Trent Grisham’s delayed home run trot Monday after a blast off Dodgers icon Clayton Kershaw, body language and larynx-straining throughout — indicated something different altogether. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Sep. 2020 In addition, a June 2013 review in Autoimmune Diseases shows that RA can affect the larynx, aka the voice box, which aids in breathing, producing sound and swallowing food. Tiffany Ayuda,, 10 Sep. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of larynx

1578, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for larynx

New Latin laryng-, larynx, from Greek

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About larynx

Statistics for larynx

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Larynx.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for larynx



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 larynx (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

More from Merriam-Webster on larynx

Nglish: Translation of larynx for Spanish Speakers

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!