maxilla

noun
max·​il·​la | \ mak-ˈsi-lə How to pronounce maxilla (audio) \
plural maxillae\ mak-​ˈsi-​(ˌ)lē How to pronounce maxillae (audio) , -​ˌlī \ or maxillas

Definition of maxilla

b(1) : an upper jaw especially of humans and other mammals in which the bony elements are closely fused
(2) : either of the two bones that lie with one on each side of the upper jaw lateral to the premaxilla and that in higher vertebrates bear most of the teeth
2 : one of the first or second pair of mouthparts posterior to the mandibles in many arthropods (such as insects or crustaceans)

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Other Words from maxilla

maxillary \ ˈmak-​sə-​ˌler-​ē How to pronounce maxillary (audio) , chiefly British  mak-​ˈsi-​lə-​rē \ adjective or noun

Examples of maxilla in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Later today, Garvey will operate on a man with a more difficult case—a large tumor in the maxilla, or top jaw—as part of two surgical teams. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Health," 1 Feb. 2020 Bereino had found a maxilla, or upper jawbone, belonging to an ancient hominin. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "'Unprecedented' skull reveals face of human ancestor," 28 Aug. 2019 Just feet away from where Bereino had found the maxilla, Haile-Selassie soon spotted what turned out to be most of the remaining skull. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "'Unprecedented' skull reveals face of human ancestor," 28 Aug. 2019 Using high resolution micro-CT scanning, Dr. Weber created a 3D replica of the upper left maxilla that allowed him to investigate its surface features and, virtually, to remove enamel from the teeth. Nicholas St. Fleur, New York Times, "In Cave in Israel, Scientists Find Jawbone Fossil From Oldest Modern Human Out of Africa," 25 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'maxilla.' 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 maxilla

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for maxilla

borrowed from New Latin, going back to Latin, "jawbones, jaws, lower part of the face," diminutive from the base *smaksl- or *maksl- seen in māla "lower part of the face, jaws" — more at malar

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Time Traveler for maxilla

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Maxilla.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/maxilla. Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for maxilla

maxilla

noun
max·​il·​la | \ mak-ˈsi-lə How to pronounce maxilla (audio) \
plural maxillae\ -​lē \

Kids Definition of maxilla

1 : an upper jaw especially of a mammal
2 : either of the pair of mouth parts next behind the mandibles of an arthropod (as an insect or a crustacean)

maxilla

noun
max·​il·​la | \ mak-ˈsil-ə How to pronounce maxilla (audio) \
plural maxillae\ -​ˈsil-​(ˌ)ē How to pronounce maxillae (audio) , -​ˌī How to pronounce maxillae (audio) \ or maxillas

Medical Definition of maxilla

2a : an upper jaw especially of humans or other mammals in which the bony elements are closely fused
b : either of two membrane bone elements of the upper jaw that lie lateral to the premaxillae and that in higher vertebrates including humans bear most of the teeth
3 : one of the first or second pair of mouthparts posterior to the mandibles in insects, myriopods, crustaceans and closely related arthropods

More from Merriam-Webster on maxilla

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for maxilla

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about maxilla

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